Deputy President's office responds to newspaper allegations

Monday, February 19, 2024

The Office of the Deputy President says it has noted the article published by the Sunday World on Sunday, 18 February 2024.

This is after the Sunday publication claimed that Deputy President Paul Mashatile and his Chief of Staff, Mduduzi Mbada, are protecting the Deputy President’s spokesperson, Vukani Mde, over a sexual harassment complaint against him.

According to the report, a senior female staffer in the office, reporting directly to Mde, complained about unwarranted sexual advances last August that Mashatile’s spokesperson made towards her.

Sunday World reported that Mde allegedly sent the victim “messages that are sexual in nature to her work cellphone number”, passed unwelcomed comments about her “sex life and her looks” and proposed love while communicating work instructions. 

The Office of the Deputy President has dismissed the false allegation that they were shielding Mde.

“The Chief of Staff has briefed the Deputy President that a letter of intention to suspend Mr Mde, in light of the allegations against him, was issued and hand-delivered to the spokesperson, Mr Vukani Mde.

“The Deputy President is aware that there is a process underway in the Presidency to investigate the allegations made against Mde by one of the senior employees in the office, and is of the view that all due processes should be adhered to,” the statement read. 

The Deputy President has since condemned any form of gender-based violence, especially against women, and said he believes that all employees should be protected from any victimisation.  

“The Office of the Deputy President wishes to assure that this matter is given the necessary attention it deserves and will provide an update in due course.” –