The woman who accuses ANC Waterberg regional secretary Tolly Mashamaite of rape was allegedly given a R400 bribe in an attempt to buy her silence, prosecutor Selepe Manamela has revealed.
Mashamaite, 40, who is currently out on R1 000 bail, has been accused of raping a 22-year-old woman at a hotel in Mokopane in April this year in a case that has caused divisions within the party.
His case has been postponed to to December 5, and Mashamaite is yet to plead, though his lawyer, Mphafolane Koma, indicated to Sowetan he intended to plead not guilty to the charges.
The ANC in Limpopo faces a risk of disciplinary action after defying orders to suspend Mashamaite.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe wrote a letter to provincial secretary Nocks Seabi after Mashamaite’s appearance, urging the provincial executive committee (PEC) to request him to step aside until his name has been cleared.
“In view of the serious nature of the charges for which comrade Tolly Mashamaite is out on bail, we are cautious of the negative publicity the trial will undoubtedly attract.
“We therefore urge the PEC to request the comrade to step aside until his name has been cleared,” the letter reads.
The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) also called for Mashamaite’s immediate suspension. But the PEC is yet to take action against Mashamaite, who enjoys the support of many leaders in the province.
According to a PEC member, who refused to be named, ANC bigwigs – including provincial chairperson and Premier Stan Mathabatha, deputy secretary Makoma Makhurupetsi and treasurer Danny Msiza – do not want Mashamaite to be suspended.
The member told The Citizen the officials said if Mashamaite was suspended then it meant many ANC leaders should step aside because they were facing corruption charges. This could be interpreted as a reference to President Jacob Zuma, who is facing hundreds of corruption charges.
Additional reporting by Ngwako Modjadji