ANC spokesman Pule Mabe. File Photo: ANA

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) spokesman Pule Mabe has been cleared of internal sexual harassment charges and will return to work this week, the party said on Monday.

Following the hearing and testimonies from witnesses, a panel, chaired by ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member Sidumo Dlamini, made recommendations to party officials.

''The panel recommended that the ANC should, within three months, adopt a sexual harassment policy, and do training for all its management and staff in offices throughout the country on this policy, address the human resource issues raised during the grievance procedure, and ensure the complainant’s reintegration as an employee of the ANC. The panel found that there was no evidence of sexual harassment, and that the matter be closed," said acting ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa in a statement.

Furthermore, the panel said employees and managers should respect ''bedroom privacy at work meetings'', advising that work meetings take place in formal meeting rooms or public spaces.

Mabe's accuser, who worked as his personal assistant, wrote a letter to the party's deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte in December last year, alleging that the ANC spokesman had victimised her after she had rebuffed his sexual advances. 

Calling herself a loyal member of the ANC Youth League, the young woman claimed in the letter that, among others, she was appointed without having a job interview and without qualifications for the position.

Mabe and the 26-year-old woman will report to work at Luthuli House this week. 

African News Agency (ANA)