ANC deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte has exposed how sexual harassment is endemic at Luthuli House.
Speaking at a women's dialogue hosted by the ruling party on Thursday night, Duarte said she was shocked by toxic masculinity growing in society.
This comes on the back of sexual harassment and rape allegations levelled against two senior ANC leaders, Zizi Kodwa and Pule Mabe.
The two men were forced to step down from their roles as party spin doctors after women came out alleging wrongdoing.
Mabe is accused of sexual harassment by his former personal assistant Kgoerano Kekana, while a claim of rape has been levelled against Kodwa, who is also the head of the ANC's presidency office.
Addressing women at the dialogue, Duarte said Luthuli House had undergone a "difficult" time and as a result, the ANC decided to have workshops to talk about sexual harassment in the workplace.
"We have decided to do what ANC does best; gather everybody and talk about how do we solve this problem that we have here in the workplace, of perceptions of sexual harassment or realities of sexual harassment. But there wouldn't be an outcry if there wasn't a problem."
Shocking things had come out of the workshops, she said.
She detailed what male comrades had said in a session on Wednesday, that "you think the women are being harassed, we get pictures and phone calls every day and we also are being sexual[ly] harassed by women".
Duarte added that she was shown pictures of women availing themselves to ANC staff at Luthuli House.
"The most undemocratic thing that we found was the tweets, the WhatsApp and the Facebook. Co-sexual harassment on all sides. Everybody is doing it to everybody else, how do we stop it? How do we discourage it from everybody?"
She encouraged women to speak out on sexual harassment at the workplace and be activists.
"We have the laws, thank you very much. It's implementation time and our voices must be heard."
Last year, Kekana handed over a 14-page letter detailing the alleged sexual harassment when she worked with Mabe.
She claimed Mabe forced himself into her bed on two occasions earlier this year, adding that after she rejected his advances, it resulted in her being ill-treated by the ANC's national spokesperson as his assistant.
Kekana, who has expressed some dissatisfaction with how the ANC handled her sexual harassment complaint, has already indicated she would be taking more steps, including approaching the CCMA. Mabe has denied her claims.
In February, Duarte confirmed the party received a letter laying a complaint of rape against Kodwa. She said the party had advised the complainant to take her issue to law enforcement agencies.
Kodwa has vehemently denied the claims, labelling them as factional. He also said he would be consulting with his lawyers on a way forward.
Both Kodwa and Mabe would remain active at Luthuli House and have not been formally suspended, News24 reported.
Read this report on News24Wire.com.
ANC's Duarte Says Rape Complaint Laid Against High-Ranking Party Member
AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.
Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.
AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa - aggregating, producing and distributing 600 news and information items daily from over 150 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public. We operate from Cape Town, Dakar, Abuja, Monrovia, Nairobi and Washington DC.