Rape accused councillor to face music at the ANC’s integrity committee
Johannesburg - The suspended City of Joburg’s ANC councillor – Kenneth Mgaga, who is facing a charge of rape – is expected to appear before his party’s regional integrity committee to answer to the allegations.
Mgaga’s hearing is due to be held later this month.
This was revealed by the Joburg ANC after Mgaga wrote a formal letter to the regional secretary, Dada Morero, requesting that he be placed on a voluntary leave of absence while facing his impending rape trial – likely to be heard next month if police conclude their investigations, as stated in the Alexandra Regional Court on Tuesday.
State Prosecutor Ayanda Bakana on Monday asked for a postponement of more than six weeks to allow the police to conclude their investigations and to ensure that the state was ready to prosecute Mgaga when he makes his second appearance on February 22.
Mgaga was making his first appearance after he was formally arrested on New Year’s Day after one of his friends accused him of rape. The 28-year-old Tembisa-based complainant told the police that Mgaga allegedly raped her at his house on December 26. She underwent a medical examination on December 27 but only opened a criminal case against Mgaga on December 28.
He was granted bail of R2 000 when he made his first appearance, after the prosecution found that he had no previous convictions or cases pending against him.
On Tuesday, ANC Joburg regional spokesperson Sasabona Manganye confirmed that his party officials had received Mgaga’s letter, but said officials had already taken a decision to place him on suspension prior to his letter.
According to Manganye, the ANC caucus at the City of Joburg – which Mgaga forms part of in his capacity as PR councillor – had recommended to the officials to suspend him due to the seriousness of the allegations of rape against him.
“We have received his letter. His request for a leave of absence and a suspension is the same thing. We are still referring the matter to the ANC regional integrity committee to advise the party on possible action. We will not announce a replacement for him until the integrity committee has made a decision on his future in the ANC,” Manganye said.
He added that they were hoping that the integrity committee would sit this month.
Manganye, however, acknowledged that Mgaga had pronounced his innocence in court and in a letter written to Morero, but said the integrity committee “deals with ethics and integrity issues”.
“The integrity committee is not a court of law. It deals with ethics and integrity issues but I think they will consider his version that he is innocent. Even if we support the victim, we do not want to appear not to consider the rule of law,” Manganye said.
In court, Mgaga submitted a sworn affidavit in which he denied having had sex with his accuser. Clarifying the affidavit, defence lawyer Jeff Lekalakala said his client, in his affidavit, had admitted being in the company of his accuser on Christmas Day and on December 26 before he left for holiday to KwaZulu-Natal after dropping her at her residence in Tembisa.
“My client’s version is that he had no sex with her,” Lekalakala said.
Lekalakala, however, said he was not privy to the victim’s medical report which forms part of the police docket.