JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The sexual harassment case against DA leader and former City of Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga took another twist on Monday when the accuser opted to open a case with the SAPS.
The woman ditched her earlier attempt to resolve the case using internal party mechanisms.
On Monday, the accuser went to Villieria police station in Pretoria to lay charges against Msimanga.
The case with the DA had been opened on October 3.
Speaking to Independent Media shortly after opening the case, the accuser said she was told she would receive case numbers once the case had been moved to Tembisa where the incident allegedly happened.
“I’m expecting two case numbers, one from Villieria later today and another from Tembisa tomorrow after the transfer,” said the accuser who cannot be named because she is an alleged victim of sexual harassment.
On Sunday the accuser was angered by Mike Moriarty, the DA’s chairperson in Gauteng, who issued a statement to confirm that a case of sexual assault had been opened against Msimanga. Although the case was yet to be heard by the party, Moriarty implied that the accuser had opened the case to spite Msimanga who leads the DA in Gauteng.
“It is alleged that the sexual harassment occurred seven years ago. The timing of reporting this incident raises questions about the veracity of the complaint. Furthermore, it should be noted that the complainant is undergoing a serious disciplinary hearing,” Moriarty said.
The accuser cried foul and said the statement made her lose faith in the party’s internal mechanism, hence she decided to approach the SAPS. She also disputed that the incident happened seven years ago and said it was six years ago.
“Instead of acknowledging my complaint and assuring me that they will conduct a thorough investigation free of bias, my party elected to inform the accused, who then rushed to social media displaying the behaviour of someone having a serious meltdown, in a lousy attempt to mobilise public sympathy, and obviously denied the incident
“The least I expected was for my party to remain neutral and subject both myself and the accused to a thorough and unbiased hearing. I now doubt the fairness of the hearing, with good reason,” said the accuser of Msimanga.
Moriarty’s decision to cast aspersion on the accuser left the ANC Caucus in the Gauteng legislature fuming. Its spokesperson, Lesego Makhubela, said the DA’s statement was not only shameful and deeply regrettable but a reflection of how women were treated in this country each time they exposed those who allegedly violate them.
“We are fighting the second pandemic of gender-based violence, we are appalled by the DA stance of not standing with the victim, their misogynistic and uncaring attitude towards women should be strongly condemned.
“As the ANC caucus in the Gauteng provincial legislature, we stand with all women who are victims of gender-based violence. We call upon law enforcement authorities to ensure that no stone is left unturned to get to the bottom of this. We further call on the Integrity Commissioner to urgently investigate this matter,” Makhubele said.
In response to the accusation of sexual harassment, Msimanga said he saw it as malicious.
He claimed that he and the accuser were on good terms until he took her to task over certain misconduct that allegedly happened in 2018.
“This is surprising coming from a person who in 2018 called me her man crush and once invited me to her birthday as a guest speaker,” Msimanga said.
Msimanga further produced screen shots of Facebook posts by the accuser where he was being praised until he had to discipline her.
He said all that would be used in his defence when the matter is finally heard.