ANCWL has called for the suspension of party chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe and has condemned any abuse of office for sexual or other benefits

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

ANC chief whip Mbulelo Goniwe will face a charge of sexual harassment before the party's disciplinary committee for allegedly asking a 21-year-old ANC intern to have sex with him.

Chairman of the ANC's national disciplinary committee Kader Asmal told journalists yesterday at a press conference in parliament that the committee had discussed the issue in the morning after receiving a 10-page statement from the complainant.

The committee found that there was "strong prima facie evidence that warrants a disciplinary committee hearing".

"There is also evidence of attempts to influence and pressure the complainant.

"This is viewed in a serious light and any ANC member implicated in this is in breach of the obligations of the member," said Asmal.

Goniwe has taken a leave of absence from his duties until the case has been completed.

It will most likely be heard at the ANC's Luthuli House headquarters in Johannesburg.

Asmal had not been able to inform Goniwe of the charges.

The complainant was allegedly propositioned for sex after a party and when she refused, he reportedly asked her why she was refusing "her chief whip" because he was not an "ordinary man".

The ANC Women's League had called for Goniwe's immediate suspension and condemned any act of sexual harassment or any abuse of office for sexual or other benefit.

The complainant is currently in the care of Vytjie Mentoor, chairman of the ANC caucus.

If found guilty, Goniwe could face expulsion, suspension or a fine, said Asmal.

The disciplinary committee is taking action after a request by the party's national working committee on Wednesday. Asmal said that ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe wants the matter completed as soon as possible. Asmal said he hoped the matter would be completed by Christmas or early in January by the latest.

Goniwe was in the news recently for not paying child maintenance.