ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe has taken leave pending the outcome of the sexual harassment grievance procedure against him. File picture: African News Agency

Johannesburg - ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe is on Wednesday morning expected to face a grievance panel which is investigating sexual harassment allegations that have been brought against him. 

The panel is expected to comprise of senior ANC leaders such as former Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini and Thoko Didiza. It is understood that the panel will hear the matter over several days and will also allow both Mabe and his accuser to bring witnesses to be heard by the panel. 

Mabe is facing the sexual harassment allegations which were laid his 26-year-old former personal assistant. The woman filed a 14-page complaint with ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte.  

The complainant said she was employed by Mabe earlier this year despite him knowing that she had no qualifications. The ANC's human resources department was also aware of this, she claims. 

The unnamed woman, who is said to be an ANC Youth League member, said she was harassed by Mabe while they were on a work assignment. 

She described two incidents where Mabe had acted inappropriately and visited her room and even climbed into her bed. 

The woman said when she rejected Mabe's advances, his attitude towards her changed. He started becoming aggressive towards her and made her working life miserable. Things were made worse when Mabe cut her salary by R15 000. 

On Tuesday Mabe took leave from his duties at the ANC saying he was doing so to protect the integrity of the grievance procedure.

He denied the charges against him and used his family background as an explanation of why he would not sexually harass women. 

“I was raised by a single woman - my own grandmother, who went an extra mile to provide for us. I have been nurtured from a very early age to understand what it means to preserve the rights of women. I will never in my clear mind and conscious go out of my way to violate women,” he said.   

The news of the complaint against Mabe was followed with some criticism from some ANC members. The ANC Women's' League said it supports the victim and was even prepared to call for Mabe's suspension while the claim was being investigated.