The African National Congress's national spokesperson Pule Mabe has requested the party's Secretary-General Ace Magashule accept his request for leave pending the outcome of the sexual harassment complaint laid against him by his former personal assistant.
The 26-year-old woman wrote to the party's deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, several weeks ago, outlining her claims.
The woman handed over a 14-page letter, which News24 has seen, detailing the alleged sexual harassment. She claims Mabe forced himself into her bed on two occasions earlier this year.
Mabe said he had taken the decision to ensure integrity and fairness in the internal process, and to remove any possibility of any perceived interference or influence.
"It is only fair and/or prudent that when we are faced with such serious allegations we put the interest of the organisation first and allow ourselves to attend to matters of concern without constraining the integrity and standing of the movement," Mabe said in a statement.