Natasha Marrian Political editor: Business Day
Pule Mabe. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Pule Mabe. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The ANC has confirmed that a sexual harassment complaint has been lodged against its national spokesperson, Pule Mabe.

Mabe’s personal assistant laid a grievance against him for allegedly cutting her salary and for emotional abuse when she refused his advances, according to an Eyewitness News report.

Mabe also serves on the ANC’s highest decision-making body between conferences, the powerful national executive committee (NEC), and is a member of the NEC subcommittee on communications.

In a statement, ANC head of presidency Zizi Kodwa confirmed that the complaint was lodged at the party headquarters last week.

A grievance panel has been established and the case is set to be heard later this week, Kodwa said. The party declined to comment further, pending the finalisation of the case against Mabe.

It is not the first time Mabe has been at the centre of a scandal since his appointment as the governing party’s official spokesperson. In May, the Mail & Guardian linked Mabe to suspicious tenders in the North West, which at the time was gripped by violent protests calling for the axing of former premier Supra Mahumapelo.

In May, Gauteng premier David Makhura had referred to alleged irregularities identified in a provincial agriculture department tender, involving a company linked to Mabe, to the Special Investigating Unit, according to a statement at the time.

In September 2014, shortly after Mabe was elected to parliament, R2.2m worth of assets were seized from him and two others accused of defrauding the South African Social Security Agency. Later that year, he and his co-accused were cleared of the charges. He resigned from parliament in 2017 in order to pursue his business interests.

Mabe replaced Kodwa as the ANC’s national spokesperson after the party’s elective conference at Nasrec in December 2017.

marriann@businesslive.co.za