South Africa: Equal Education Refines Process of Receving Submissions Regarding Sexual Harassment and Related Misconduct

press release

EQUAL EDUCATION REFINES PROCESS OF RECEIVING SUBMISSIONS REGARDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND RELATED MISCONDUCT

Earlier today, 17 May 2018, we released a statement in which we provided further details on how the independent inquiry established by Equal Education’s National Council (NC) to investigate allegations of sexual harassment by the former General Secretary, Tshepo Motsepe would function.

We explained that persons wishing to make submissions to the panel regarding current and past instances of sexual harassment and related misconduct by persons associated with EE, could contact eeinquiry18@gmail.com. We encouraged persons to make submissions freely, including formal testimonies, anonymous tip-offs, and suggestions for areas of further investigation.

We explained that while the terms of reference of the current panel is limited to a consideration of allegations of sexual harassment by Tshepo Motsepe, the panel is empowered to refer any other matter arising for further investigation, exploration, or attention, as part of a broader inquiry into sexual harassment and abuse of power.

We said that submissions made to the independent panel would be accessible only to its members – Mercia Andrews, Madoda Cuphe, Clare Ballard, and to the panel secretary Honjiswa Raba, EE’s Human Resources Manager.  In a note we explained that Honjiswa’s role was that of an administrative secretary and that she would assist the panel in administrative tasks, and that she was bound to written confidentiality and discretion agreements.

However, in response to our statement, there has been concerns raised about the independence of the panel and the confidentiality provided to those wishing to make submissions. In acknowledgement of these concerns and because we want to ensure that everyone who wants to make a submission can do so freely by responding to the contact information found here.

All submissions received by individual panel members will be considered by the panel as a whole. Honjiswa Raba, a person of the utmost integrity, will continue to serve as the administrative secretary of the panel, assisting the members with logistical tasks and not having any access to submissions made online and also not being present when submissions are made in person to the panel.

We thank those who shared their concerns with us and assure you that we remain committed to the integrity and independence of the process we have embarked upon to confront and address instances of sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence, both past and present, within our movement.

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