Sexual harassment claims found to be baseless

ACCUSER: Nonqaba Mosunkutu at her wedding at Klipsruit in Soweto. Pic. Mabuti Kali. 03/06/07. © Sunday World.
ACCUSER: Nonqaba Mosunkutu at her wedding at Klipsruit in Soweto. Pic. Mabuti Kali. 03/06/07. © Sunday World.

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

Former Gauteng social development MEC Bob Mabaso is a relieved man.

He has been cleared of sexual harassment allegations levelled by a family friend and wife of fellow comrade agriculture, conservation and environment MEC Khabisi Mosunkutu.

Nonqaba Mosunkutu rocked the friendship of the two families about two years ago when she alleged that Mabaso had made sexual advances towards her.

Mabaso voluntarily stepped down as MEC when the allegations surfaced. Nine staff members from his office also lost their jobs.

An investigation by the Gauteng ANC found the allegations to be baseless.

"We now consider the matter closed. We hope comrade Bob Mabaso will put it behind him and focus on the task of serving our movement," the ANC said in a statement.

And that is exactly what Mabaso plans to do.

"I am relieved. The same feeling will be shared by my family, my friends and some of the comrades.

"The question will always be why the Mosunkutus did what they did."

Lessons should be learnt from this matter, he said, adding that not all allegations are true and others are malicious.

He said the allegations had been costly as some of his staff members lost their jobs as a result of what has now turned out to be false claims.

"Some costs are difficult to reverse. Members of my staff lost their jobs."

The National Prosecuting Authority declined to prosecute the matter. This led to the ANC launching its own investigation.

Mabaso said he would not demand his job back.

"I voluntarily stepped down and the ANC and NPA noted that the allegations were false. I would therefore be available to be deployed where the organisation sees fit."

He said he would not sue the Mosunkutus.

"For the sake of our old friendship, I have decided not to sue the Mosunkutus because I wouldn't want them and their family to go through the pain I suffered.

"I believe in the emancipation of women and that's why when the allegations were made I stepped down so that the law could take its course and allow an investigation to make a finding without me being in the way," he said.

Mabaso was recently elected to the provincial executive committee under the leadership of Paul Mashatile, chairman of ANC Gauteng.

"I appreciate that because it shows that ANC members have confidence in me," he said.

Nonqaba Mosunkutu was not available for comment yesterday.