Zizi Kodwa & Pule Mabe’s roles in ANC explained

On Tuesday, the party’s national working committee announced that both men agreed to step aside amid allegations of abuse by women pending investigations. But who are they to the party?

FILE: ANC's Zizi Kodwa at a press briefing on 22 January 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG – In light of serious allegations of rape and sexual harassment levelled against African National Congress (ANC) spin doctors Zizi Kodwa and Pule Mabe, Eyewitness News takes a look at their influence and history within the governing party.

On Tuesday, the party’s national working committee announced that both men agreed to step aside amid allegations of abuse by women pending investigations.

Mabe's former PA accused him of verbally abusing her when she rebuffed his sexual advances. He denied the allegations.

Meanwhile Kodwa - who's also head of the party's presidency at Luthuli House - has been accused of rape, which he at the weekend dismissed as part of "a dirty tricks" campaign.

Here’s what you need to know about the two senior ANC leaders:

Zizi Kodwa

Kodwa rose through the ranks of the ANC as a member of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL)’s national executive committee and as its spokesperson.

• He was elected to the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) - the party's highest decision-making body - in December 2012 after the party’s elective conference in Mangaung that re-elected former President Jacob Zuma as its leader.

• Kodwa resigned as an MP in 2014 to become full-time ANC national spokesperson after two years as a parliamentarian.

• He took over the role of ANC national spokesperson from current party parliamentary Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu. During his tenure as party spokesman, Kodwa had the difficult task of defending the ANC through the Nkandla scandal, state capture and calls for Zuma to step down as the country’s president.

• At the ANC’s fierce leadership battle in December 2017, he declared on Twitter on 18 December that he was backing President Cyril Ramaphosa for the job after playing his cards close to his chest.

• Kodwa currently serves his second term as an elected member of the NEC.

• In February 2018, he was appointed on a full-time basis as the ANC head of presidency.

• Kodwa would later return as a spokesperson in an acting capacity in December 2018 after Mabe asked to be placed on leave pending the outcome of an internal ANC investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against him.

Pule Mabe

Mabe previously served as ANCYL treasurer general in both the 23rd and 24th NECs with leaders like former league president Julius Malema and his deputy Ronald Lamola. Mabe was later dumped by the ANCYL’s NEC as treasurer in May 2012 after saying they had lost confidence in him.

• He is no stranger to controversy after being marred in numerous corruption scandals, which include him being arrested in 2013 for theft, fraud, and money-laundering allegedly for illegally soliciting funds from the South African Social Security Agency, as well as, being implicated in the public protector’s report into maladministration at Prasa.

• In 2014, following general elections, Mabe was deployed to Parliament becoming the youngest ANC MP to be sworn in at 32-years-old.

• In September 2017, he resigned as a member of the fifth democratic Parliament. His last day at Parliament was 31 August.

• At the ANC’s December Nasrec conference, Mabe endorsed Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the party’s leadership race and has been known to be a Zuma supporter.

• He is currently serving his second term as an elected member of the ANC’s NEC.

• In February 2018, the ANC’s NEC appointed Mabe as the national spokesperson following the party's national elective conference in December that saw Ramaphosa elected ANC president and later the country’s president in Parliament.