Finance minister’s harassment case referred to prosecutor

South African police have handed over a file on their investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to the National Prosecuting Authority.

The NPA must now decide whether to press charges or not. The case was handed over to prosecuting authorities on Monday, a day after Godongwana issued a statement denying that the alleged harassment took place.

“We are awaiting a recommendation from them,” South African police spokesman Selvy Mohlala said Thursday by telephone. “The recommendation could be that we’re going to get more statements or that they feel it’s ready for prosecution, so we’ll wait to hear from them.”

Godongwana issued the denial after a Kruger National Park employee who provided massage services to clients opened a case against him. If charged, Godongwana could be forced out of office under the rules of the ruling African National Congress’ so-called withdrawal rule.

Godongwana, 65, has served as finance minister since August 2021. The allegations come two months before he is due to present the government’s medium-term fiscal policy statement. A former head of the ANC’s economic policy unit, Godongwana is a close political ally of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is expected to seek re-election as party leader at a conference in December.

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