MBOMBELA, June 6 – A Mpumalanga African National Congress (ANC) municipal councillor arrested last week for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl has been placed on special leave by the party until the conclusion of the criminal case against him, the ANC in the province said on Tuesday.
ANC spokesman in the Nkangala region, Sello Matshoga, told the African News Agency (ANA) that his party viewed the rape case against councillor, whom it named, and the abuse of women and children in general in a serious light.
“We did not suspend him but placed him on special leave, and he will not face an internal disciplinary hearing,” said Matshoga.
“He will not do his work as a councillor and will not interact with the community as an ANC leader until the conclusion of this case. We take this case very seriously because it will affect the ANC. We have appointed another PR [proportional representation] councillor in his place.
“If we did not put him on special leave, that would mean we don’t take this case seriously.”
The suspended councillor serves in the Dr JS Moroka local municipality, where the alleged rape took place.
Siyabuswa police spokeswoman, Captain Zandile Gqawa, said the 44-year-old man appeared in the Mdutjana Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, where he was granted R5,000 bail.
“The case was postponed to June 23 for further investigations,” said Gqawa.
Matshoga last week told ANA that the ANC would suspend the councillor if it appeared that the State had a strong case against him, adding the party would also terminate his membership if the court later found him guilty of rape.
– African News Agency (ANA)