“CHALLENGING a powerful man, and now the ANC, pains me. I wish a fair conclusion had been reached.”
These were the words of Kgoerano Kekana, the 26-year-old woman who accused the ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe of sexual harassment last year.
Mabe has consistently denied the claims, and the governing party absolved him of any wrongdoing due to “a lack of evidence” after an internal investigation chaired by national executive committee member Thoko Didiza.
This comes as Kekana has confirmed that she still has not decided whether she will accept the ANC’s offer for her to return to her previous post as Mabe’s personal assistant.
“I am waiting for a definitive offer based on different options presented to me,” Kekana said, adding that the ANC was still paying her salary.
Kekana was speaking yesterday shortly after her meeting with the ANC’s human resources department in what The Star understands was a meeting akin to a mediation.
Kekana, in a widely circulated grievance letter which was initially sent to the ANC’s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, had alleged that she had been “repeatedly harassed” by Mabe, adding that this happened inside a hotel room in Pretoria.
Kekana said that after turning down Mabe’s alleged overtures, her salary was cut to R15 000 a month – without saying how much she had been earning before.
Asked yesterday whether the contentions were fair that she would not have complained had her salary not being cut, Kekana rubbished the claim.
“I have endured harassment for a long time. I was saddened to have had to take a stand against the ANC, a party that I joined when I was merely 15.
“But I am just glad to have a job as I was struggling to pay bills and my outstanding college fees,” she said.
“I do not take this matter lightly. Challenging a powerful man, and now the ANC, pains me.
“I wish a fair conclusion had been reached because this is taking its toll on me emotionally and psychologically,” she said.
In a statement released earlier yesterday, Kekana laid into the ANC as a party which “gives further courage to abusive men to bully female subordinates”.
The ANC publicly admitted that it did not have a definitive sexual harassment policy, and recommended that one be established.
By KHAYA KOKO firstname.lastname@example.org
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