Cape Town – South African Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has reportedly confirmed that he has met with the police amid accusations of sexual harassment by a hotel employee at Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga.
The incident allegedly happened while the minister was on vacation earlier this month.
According to News24, a worker accused him of sexually harassing her while she was giving him a massage in his room.
A case was reportedly opened against Godongwana.
However, Godongwana denied the accusations.
“I have always upheld and respected the rights and dignity of women, and this allegation goes against everything I stand for,” Godongwana said, as quoted by the report.
EWN reported on Friday that the minister said he met with the police on Thursday and was given a warning statement.
“In a statement released late on Thursday, the minister said that he was approached by the police in connection with what they said was a criminal investigation in which he had been accused of sexual assault.
ALSO READ | Sexual harassment claims: EFF wants Godongwana to be removed as minister
“He said that he confirmed with the police that he was indeed in the Kruger National Park area when the incident apparently took place – on Women’s Day – but that he ‘in no way or at any time inappropriately touched, sexually harassed, or assaulted anyone'”, the report said.
According to The South African, Godongwana also denied allegations that he tried to silence the complainant.
“I reject with contempt the allegation that I have attempted to silence the complainant by bribing her. As I informed the police, the identity of the complainant is unknown to me. These allegations are unfounded. In the interest of justice, I reiterate my wish that this matter be expedited,” the report quoted Godongwana as saying.
“The minister said that the sexual harassment scandal was “nothing more than a smear campaign” with selfish, political undertones, reported The Citizen.
The report said that Godongwana initiated his appearance before the ANC’s Integrity Commission earlier this week.
“The meeting was at my request. I did this because I am painfully aware of the damage that the allegations have caused to the organisation which I have served for close to four decades, as well as for the need to be forthright and transparent,” the minister said, as quoted by the report.
Godongwana said he would continue his work and focus on the critical task of revitalising the economy, the report said.
Follow African Insider on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Compiled by Betha Madhomu