‘I didn’t chicken out,’ says Mabe accuser after failing to attend hearing
THE woman who has accused ANCspokesperson Pule Mabe of sexual harassmenthas denied that being unableto attend his hearing this week isproof that she has cold feet over herclaims.
News24 understands she told theANC this week that she was not availableto appear at the second sittingof a commission into the sexual harassmentclaims she levelled againstMabe in December 2018.
“I am shocked that Pule wentagainst the wishes of the ANC and revealedthat the hearing was meant tosit today,” said his former personal assistant,when contacted for commentby News24.
Mabe, who had been meeting withcommunity members and campaigningin Ntuzuma, KwaZulu-Natal, ahead ofthe ANC’s election manifesto launchtomorrow, confirmed to journaliststhat the second sitting of his hearing had been postponed.
“As I said to some journalists whoasked over the weekend, we weresupposed to sit today [Wednesday],but there was a postponement at theeleventh hour at the request of thecomplainant,” Mabe said.
He reiterated his commitment towardsa speedy resolution, insisting hewas ready to plead his case to thecommittee, which is made up of seniorparty leaders, including Thoko Didizaand Sdumo Dlamini.
However, the woman explained toNews24 that she could not agree tothe second sitting knowing full wellthat she would not be able to make itto the meeting.
“It was communicated to me lateand I already had family commitments,I am only in Durban for ANCcelebrations from Thursday [yesterday],so it would not have madesense to agree to a date where I knew I wouldn’t be available,” explainedMabe’s former PA.
“It’s not true that I’ve chickenedout, because had I chickened out Iwould not have reported the matterto the police.”
Both Mabe and his former assistantrefused to discuss the actual case,with Mabe saying he had no right todiscuss the merits of the case, andthe 26-year-old woman saying shewould respect the ANC’s request notto speak about the matter.
The woman, who described workingin Mabe’s office as the “most horriblefour months” of her life, submitted a14-page letter detailing the allegedsexual harassment, which started fromthe very first assignment she workedon with Mabe.
She claimed the ANC spokespersonforced himself into her bed on twooccasions last year.
She also claimed her rejection of his advances resulted in her being illtreatedby Mabe, having her salary cutand eventually being moved from therole.
It’s understood Mabe has arguedthat his former assistant lied abouther qualifications before she was appointedfor the job.
When asked if he believed thosewho said this matter was political,Mabe said he was not “interested inthat”, but if there was a political hand,they were going to be “shocked andembarrassed”.
“It’s very important in matters likethis that we allow truths and facts toprevail. I want to tell the people ofSouth Africa the truth, and facts willprevail in this matter,” said Mabe.
The ANC spokesperson, who is currentlyon leave from that role pendingthe outcome of the inquiry, alsostrongly denied claims that he and hisformer assistant had an intimate relationship of sorts in the past. “That’s hogwash,” exclaimed Mabe. He insisted that he and the complainantrelated to each other ascomrades, who had a respectful anddecent relationship with one another.
“Something like that doesn’t exist,will never exist, can’t exist. We relateas comrades,” said Mabe.
He acknowledged seeing a numberof messages circulating on social media,including texts which some claimto have been sent by Mabe to hisformer PA, but he said these were alllies.
“The mistake they made is they usean 083 number I’ve never had. Itdoesn’t matter how many times youspeak about that, it’s a lie,” saidMabe.
The woman told News24 a newdate for the hearing has been set andshe would make herself available forit.