Steven Boshego, EFF chief whip at the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality, Mpumalanga, is due to appear at the Ekangala Magistrate’s Court, east of Pretoria, on Friday for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl.
EFF Mpumalanga leader Collen Sedibe said: “We’ve already suspended him because we take the allegation of rape very seriously.
“We respect that according to the law a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but this is a serious matter because he’s a member of the organisation and a leader. We felt we must suspend him.”
Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said Boshego was arrested and a case of rape opened. “The allegation is that the suspect raped a 13-year-old girl.”
Independent Media has seen the letter of suspension the EFF sent to Boshego in the holding cells. The letter told him he was being suspended because “you are arrested for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl”.
“The EFF deems that as the most barbaric and inhumane act and unacceptable conduct of any member let alone a leader of the province.”
The letter told Boshego he was being suspended as both a councillor and member of the party: “You will not participate in any organisational activities, not wear any EFF branded clothing and you are barred from representing the (party) in any council, structure or platform."
Sedibe said the EFF actually asked Boshego to resign voluntarily. “He refused.”
His refusal was because he denied the rape allegation. “But if he’s still remanded in custody, we’re going to conduct the disciplinary hearing right there in jail,” said Sedibe. “We’ve already spoken to prison warders about giving us a room.”
Sedibe said the EFF “dearly condemns” any form of violence against women and children. He said the party will offer support to the victim.
“Children are a blessing, and as a result cannot be seen in any lascivious way, in particular by a leader.”
Sedibe said the EFF “distances” itself from Boshego’s “act. (The party) cannot be held liable for the individual behaviour of leaders who go astray from prescribed ethics”.
Believed to be in his late thirties, Boshego is former manager of Home Affairs’ KwaMhlanga branch.
The case against him comes at a time that another politician, Simon Mofokeng, 59, is facing the music in court for allegedly sexually grooming a 14-year-old girl.
Mofokeng resigned in November as mayor of Emfuleni Local Municipality. His party, the ANC, at the time welcomed his resignation.