The ANC in Johannesburg has urged party members not to wear party regalia to court on Monday when one of its councillors appears on a charge of rape.
The councillor, who hasn’t been named because he has neither appeared in court nor pleaded, was arrested over the weekend.
ANC regional secretary, Dada Morero, said in a statement that the party called on members to “disassociate themselves [from] anyone who is an alleged perpetrator [of] gender-based violence”.
“No ANC regalia should be worn by anyone who will go to court to support the alleged perpetrator. Ours is to support the victim until justice is done,” Morero said.
He said the party would decide on further steps that should be taken against the councillor.
“The ANC refuses to be complicit in the dehumanisation and abuse of women,” Morero added. “We reject with absolute contempt the further marginalisation and violence meted out [to] women. A woman’s body is not a playground, nor is it a crime scene.”
He added: “The ANC stands with the victim and calls on law-enforcement agencies to ensure that the alleged misogynist faces the full might of the law as we believe in the fairness and unbiasedness of the justice system of our country.”
In a statement, secretary of the ANC’s Zone 13 in Alexandra, Banele Sangcozi, called on the man, who is from there, to step down as a councillor and as a member of the branch executive committee.
Failing that, he said the ANC’s Johannesburg leadership should “provide the required practical clarity on how to deal with this comrade”.
He said he supported the statement by the Johannesburg ANC, which followed on from his initial statement.
Sangcozi said the ANC was clear at its 2017 national elective conference on what political office bearers should do when “found in a compromised position”.
The resolution at that conference was that party leaders and members should step down once charged with a serious crime, but this hasn’t always been consistently applied.
“It is selfish of compromised comrades to refuse to step aside and attempt to drag the organisation into the mud,” he said.
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