ANC suspends North West councillor accused of statutory rape
Rustenburg - The ANC has suspended its councillor in the Matlosana municipality who has been accused of statutory rape.
Interim provincial committee (IPC) co-ordinator Hlomani Chauke said they noted with shock the arrest of their councillor and his appearance in the Klerksdorp Magistrate's Court, facing a charge of statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl.
"These allegations against our public representative are abhorrent and antithetical to the values of the ANC.
"Consequently, the ANC IPC through its officials resolved that these allegations warrant appropriate disciplinary action," he said.
He said the councillor's membership has been suspended with immediate effect, pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings. The councillor was also charged internally for bringing the organisation into disrepute.
"The ANC, as a leader of society, expects all its members, particularly its public representatives, to be at the forefront of the fight against the culture of rape, gender-based violence and patriarchy. We urge women and children who are at the receiving end of abuse to report culprits of these heinous acts to law enforcement agencies. We have utmost confidence in the ability of our courts to dispense justice without fear, favour or prejudice."
North West police said the councillor, 38, handed himself over on Monday. He appeared in court on Tuesday and was released on R2,000 bail. The case was postponed to August 18 for investigations.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said it was alleged the man raped the 15-year-old girl between April and August 2019 in Tigane, Hartbeesfontein, near Klerksdorp. The matter was reported to the police on April 30.
The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in the North West described the alleged rape as "shocking and despicable".
"We wish to condemn in the strongest terms possible the alleged repulsive incident, which has not only disappointed us but also enraged us as it has come to light amid escalating incidents of gender-based violence, threatening the safety of vulnerable women and children trapped in their respective homes with perpetrators due to the state of disaster lockdown,” provincial chairperson Paul Sebegoe said.
He said councillors were supposed to be at the forefront of mobilising for united action against the scourge of gender-based violence and protecting children against abuse.
"We had expected the state to oppose bail in line with the emergency plan that was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa to tackle violence against women and children that also includes harsher sentences and no parole for rapists."