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'How could my brother & leader do this to me' – Mabe’s accuser speaks

In a 14-page letter seen by EWN to the party’s deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, the woman details several encounters with the married father.

FILE: ANC's Pule Mabe on 29 May 2018. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) spokesperson Pule Mabe has been described as an abusive boss who punished his personal assistant after she rebuffed his sexual advances.

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, the 26-year-old woman who has accused Mabe of sexual harassment, says she refuses to be silenced.

“Someone that I was supposed to refer to as a brother and a leader… I’m hoping that whatever the outcomes are, they’ll be objective and justice will prevail.”

The woman has lodged a formal grievance against Mabe, and an internal party hearing is expected on Wednesday.

In a 14-page letter seen by EWN to the party’s deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, the woman details several encounters with the married father.

These include slipping into her bed, berating her in front of colleagues and eventually a swift demotion and a pay cut.

After one of Mabe’s alleged sexual attempts, the woman said she was left frightened.

“…I couldn’t even look at this man, in fact, I didn’t even want to look at him, I was shaking like a chicken that has been poured with freezing water,” she said in the letter.

The young woman - who describes herself as an activist and a loyal member of the ANC - has detailed how a dream job which she was offered by Mabe in July, soon became a nightmare.

She says although she made it clear from the onset that she didn’t have any experience or relevant qualifications, she was given the job nonetheless and was eager to make a good impression.

But soon things took an unexpected turn.

The woman claims Mabe, who had insisted on working from her room during an ANC event at the St George’s Hotel, made sexual advances towards her. And that on one of the nights, she woke up terrified after she felt his legs draped over her body.

On another occasion, he allegedly insisted on sharing a chalet with her, touched her suggestively on her shoulder and later entered and left her room in the middle of the night.

During that time, she says: “He stood there for a while as if he was trying to think of his next move. My heart couldn’t stop beating so hard.”

The woman further details what would become a strained relationship over the next weeks characterised by emotional and verbal assaults, what she calls lies and manipulation and eventually a demotion.

The woman has pleaded with ANC deputy secretary general to intervene, saying she refuses to be silenced after being asked to keep the matter private by the party’s human resources.

“I am without an office as we speak, without a department to report to; but one thing for sure, I no longer want to work with comrade Pule. I have been asked by HR to keep the matter between myself and them, that it shouldn’t be brought to the leadership nor the general manager; I REFUSE TO BE SILENCED,” the woman said in her letter to Duarte.

Mabe did not respond to specific questions by EWN but has claimed he has no knowledge of the grievance laid against him.

EWN has reached out to Duarte, however, she could not be reached.

Meanwhile, the ANC has confirmed that a complaint has been lodged at its Headquarters last week.

"We have since established a Grievance Panel, as per our personnel manual, to ensure a fair process. The panel will hear the case later this week. Until the finalisation of these internal processes, the ANC will not comment on the substance of these allegations," the party said in a statement released on Monday afternoon.

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