ANC head of presidency Zizi Kodwa has strongly denied an accusation that he raped a woman at a private function in April last year.
Kodwa in a statement on Sunday said the allegations were made in a letter "replete with false accusations" and described it as a "feeble yet dangerous attempt at political blackmail and manipulation".
This after ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte confirmed to journalists on Saturday evening that a rape complaint had been sent in a letter to the office of the secretary general against Kodwa.
"Today, after days what appears to be the height of a dirty tricks campaign, I wish to expose its details.
"On February 14, 2019 I was alerted by the Secretary General of the ANC that he had received a letter from a woman claiming [what] I view as the most grotesque attack on me and my reputation.
"In a letter replete with false accusations, I am accused of rape, sexual assault and even drugging two women.
"At the outset, I deny these accusations with the contempt they deserve."
Kodwa said he refuses to "succumb to extortion and blackmail" and would not be silenced through "dirty tricks".
"Most importantly, I refuse to bow down to dirty tricks by cowards operating from their factional dark corners, using women to fight or neutralise me.
"Most tragically, I detest the use of such serious societal maladies like rape, sexual harassment and women abuse to simply achieve narrow factional and political ends. It is an insult to the women of this country and a fight against women abuse."
He further described the accusation as "orchestrated by elements wishing to turn our politics into a jungle, a place for apartheid-like dirty tricks to silence others".
Kodwa said he was currently seeking legal advice with a view to a possible case of extortion or defamation or any other legal remedy available to him.
"I will not rest until I find out the identities of those behind these dirty tricks they obviously learned from their apartheid masters and handlers."
ANC's advice to complainant
On Saturday, Duarte said the party advised the complainant that she needed to go to the criminal justice system with her complaint.
"It's a bit different where there is a difficulty between staff and membership. This is something that in our understanding happened in a private party setting, of course that's the allegation," she stressed.
The ANC therefore could not probe the facts further, with Duarte saying: "That is the work of the criminal justice system".
News24 has seen the letter and will update this article with its details.