ANC says Kodwa and Mabe innocent until proven guilty

Pule Mabe and Zizi Kodwa have stepped aside voluntarily, pending the finalisation of the allegations against them.

FILE: ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The African national congress (ANC) says it believes in the principle of innocent until proven guilty and, therefore, could not have suspended its spokespeople amid allegations of abuse by women.

Pule Mabe and Zizi Kodwa have stepped aside voluntarily, pending the finalisation of the allegations against them.

Mabe, who was accused of sexually harassing his personal assistant, was cleared of the allegations against him by the party and returned to work last week.

Kodwa is accused of drugging and raping a woman in a hotel room, but he’s dismissed these allegations as dirty tricks campaign.

WATCH: ANC on Kodwa and Mabe: Innocent until proven guilty

On Tuesday morning, Eyewitness News reported on the party’s national working committees’ decision to suspend Kodwa and Mabe.

But now the party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule says they cannot suspend their members based on allegations.

“There’s a commission, Zondo Commission, which is currently happening... it talked about people, even journalists. Are you saying we must suspend them when they are no findings yet? We can’t do that.”

He says both Kodwa and Mabe are innocent until proven guilty.

“Let’s respect the universal principle because one day this might happen to you, and then what next?”

It’s unclear how the allegations against Mabe will be tested after he was cleared by the party’s grievance committee last week.

Magashule says both members will continue with their work as national executive committee members until their cases are resolved.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)