Home South African DA questions if Ramaphosa knew about Mchunu’s sexual harassment allegations

DA questions if Ramaphosa knew about Mchunu’s sexual harassment allegations

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The DA has questioned whether President Cyril Ramaphosa knew of the allegations against ANC NEC member Senzo Mchunu before making him minister for Public Service and Administration.

Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi

THE DA is to submit a series of written parliamentary questions to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking whether he was aware of the sexual harassment allegations against ANC NEC member Senzo Mchunu before appointing him minister in 2019.

The DA spokesperson on Public Service and Administration, Leon Schreiber, said that if Ramaphosa had been aware and failed to take action, he would be complicit in protecting an alleged perpetrator of sexual harassment.

“Now that the allegations have become public, the DA also demands to know whether the president intends to urgently investigate the complaints and, if confirmed, fire Mchunu.

“There can be absolutely no room for political favouritism when it comes to allegations of sexual harassment. Ramaphosa has repeatedly promised harsh action against the perpetrators of such crimes. His response to the allegations against Mchunu will show whether he meant it,” he said.

Independent Media reported on Monday that Mchunu was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal dating back to 2019.

In a letter written by an employee at Luthuli House to the ANC general manager, as well as the Women’s League general secretary, the victim detailed how Mchunu allegedly made sexual advances that she rejected – after which she lost her job as an employee under him, as political head of organising at the time.

Responding to the allegations, Mchunu, through his spokesperson, said that the matter was closed after a formal investigation and that its findings had been communicated to the victim and the minister.

Schreiber described Mchunu’s alleged conduct as “disgusting”, adding that it was particularly so in light of the crisis of gender-based violence in the country.

“While the ANC’s contempt for the victims of sexual abuse and violence does not come as a surprise in the wake of scandals like the ones involving Mduduzi Manana and the allegations levelled against Pule Mabe and David Masondo, South Africans should be outraged at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s apparent failure to investigate the extremely serious allegations against a senior member of his Cabinet and inner circle.

“The fact that the original complaint was laid over two years ago begs the question of what Ramaphosa knew about the conduct of his close political associate.”

The EFF on Monday called for Mchunu’s removal.

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