ANC deputy president Zizi Kodwa. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - With the ANC being rocked by rape allegations levelled against some of its senior leaders ahead of the elections, the party has been urged to involve the police instead of resorting to internal party processes.

The rape allegations against Zizi Kodwa, against whom the complaint was laid in February, and Pule Mabe, whose personal assistant accused him of sexual harassment, led to the ANC Women’s League calling for the protection of women and the duo to be removed.

Last month, Mabe’s accuser, 26-year-old Kgoerano Kekana, reached a settlement with the ANC, while Kodwa’s accuser withdrew the charges earlier this month.

Ralph Mathekga, a political analyst, said that such cases were better subjected to police investigation instead of internal party processes.

“South African Police Services should investigate these cases, people should rely on the police instead of undergoing internal processes because internal processes sometimes fall short,” he said.

“Internally, people have got power and there will always be the suspicion that things are not done right so the best way to remove that doubt is to ensure that these things are dealt with outside the party with investigations involving the police because those are that ones that can actually establish what happened.”

He said it was difficult to tell whether rape allegations were used to drive political agendas within the ruling party, but that regardless of the source, the police should investigate.

Professor Bheki Mngomezulu, a political analyst based at UCT, said that there had been a string of rape allegations including that of Kodwa, Mabe and former president Jacob Zuma before them in which suggestions of political meddling have been made.

In Zuma’s case, on rape charges by the late Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, better known as Khwezi, the Women’s League staunchly supported Zuma.

Mngomezulu said this might be because the league could have been privy to information that would have indicated that there might have been a political plot against Zuma.

“My understanding is that at the time Msholozi (Zuma) was being set up for political reasons because the relationship between him and then president Mbeki was not good.

"They suspected that Khwezi was being used in order to push a particular political agenda,” said Mngomezulu.

Attempts to get comment from the ANC Women’s League’s secretary-general Meokgo Matuba and spokesperson Toko Xasa were unsuccessful as both had not responded to phone calls and questions sent via text by the time of going to print.

Political Bureau