Durban – The ANC women’s league (ANCWL) says it is shocked by the charges of rape against a senior party member in the Mpumalanga province, saying in this matter, it stands with the two young victims.
The league was reacting to Monday’s shocking news that a former MEC who is also a Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) member of the ANC in Mpumalanga was arrested for allegedly raping his 8-year-old twin daughters.
The high profile politician allegedly committed the crime with his 26 stepson who was also arrested and charged with rape. The two are currently in custody pending their court appearance on Thursday where they are expected to apply for bail.
The rape case was reported in July this year after one of the twins reportedly told her teacher about their ordeal. Thereafter, the matter was investigated, culminating with the shocking arrest. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it has a strong case against the suspects and it is going to oppose their bail application.
Meokgo Matuba, the secretary-general of the league, said while they support the naming and shaming of alleged rapists, they would not name this one to protect the minor victims. This is a sharp contrast to the stance of the ANC in Mpumalanga which named the former MEC, thus identifying the young victims.
“The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) has learned with shock and is in disdain over the allegations of rape levelled against a member of the ANC PEC. Whilst we support the name and shame campaign, we are currently opting not to mention the name of the alleged perpetrator in order to protect the identities of the two victims – who are minors in this particular case. We take into account the principles of innocent until proven guilty,” Matuba said in a statement.
Matuba added that they applaud the provincial structure’s decision to summarily suspend the former MEC’s membership as the allegations he is facing are of a serious nature and they involve minors.
“The ANCWL is resolute in supporting the victims of rape and wishes to reiterate this position. The ANCWL applauds the ANC Provincial Leadership in Mpumalanga for summarily suspending the alleged perpetrator from his position in the ANC given the gravity of the charges he faces. The ANCWL calls on the ANC to screen all those who will be nominated as Ward Councillors candidates or REC or BEC members and remove all those with records of violence against women and children. The ANCWL encourages its members, supporters and society in large to offer support the victims of violence against women and children.”