South Africa

Deputy president’s office suspends official amid sexual harassment allegations

Mashatile office official suspended

Deputy President Paul Mashatile has suspended the employee in his office that is facing sexual harassment allegations. The suspension comes with full pay.

This comes after the deputy president was accused of protecting the employee.

A senior female employee in Mashatile’s office reportedly complained last August about mistreatment she had received from a top official in the deputy president’s office, according to a Sunday World article.

Dismissed claims of protecting official

In a statement on Sunday, the deputy minister dismissed claims that he and his chief of staff, Mduduzi Mbada, were protecting the senior official.

“The deputy president has been briefed by the chief of staff that a letter of intention to suspend [*Mr X] in light of the allegations made against him was issued and hand delivered to the spokesperson [him],” said his office on Monday.

“The deputy president is aware that there is a process underway in the Presidency to investigate the allegations made against [Mr X] by one of the senior employees in the office and is of the view that all due processes should be adhered to.”

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His office further stressed that the issue was getting “the necessary attention it deserves” and that an update will be provided “in due course”.

Suspended with immediate effect

Mashatile’s office has now announced that [Mr X] is suspended him with immediate effect with full pay, in light of the gravity of the allegations made against him.

“[Mr X] has assured us of his willingness to cooperate with the investigation and the entire process to clear his name,” his office said.
 
“The decision to suspend [Mr X] is also to ensure that the alleged victim feels protected during this process.”

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Charges against Mashatile

The report from Sunday World was published one week after Mashatile was charged with a crime by the Democratic Alliance (DA) at the Cape Town Central Police Station in the Western Cape. The charges were in response to stories that suggested Mashatile had connections to individuals accused of state capture.

Mashatile has denied any wrongdoing.

Mr X not real name

Additional reporting by Vhahangwele Nemakonde