(Bloomberg) -- South African Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana denied an allegation of sexual harassment, after being informed that a case was opened against him.

An employee in the Kruger National Park who was offering massage services to guests in their rooms opened the case a week after the minister visited the wildlife reserve, his office said in a statement on Sunday.

“Minister Godongwana categorically denies this allegation,” Mfuneko Toyana, Godongwana’s spokesman, said in the statement. “At the time of the alleged incident, the minister was in his room together with his wife, who said there is no basis for the allegations.”

Godongwana, 65, has been finance minister since August 2021. The case presents the risk that if he’s charged, the governing African National Congress may ask him to step down as a member of the party’s National Executive Committee, under it’s so-called step aside rule. That would bring pressure to bear on President Cyril Ramaphosa to either suspend or replace Godongwana as minister.

The minister hasn’t received official communication from the police about the case, according to the statement.

“A case has been opened against a prominent person,” said Selvy Mohlala, spokesman for the South African Police Service in the eastern Mpumalanga province where the alleged incident took place, when asked if a complaint had been registered against Godongwana. “They obviously cannot be named at this stage and the matter is under investigation.”

Godongwana is scheduled to present the government’s medium-term budget policy statement in October.

(Updates with police confirming case has been opened against minister in penultimate paragraph)

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