7 December 2018

South Africa: SABC Suspends 'Sex-for-Jobs' Pests

Photo: Mike Powell/Wikimedia Commons
SABC headquarters in Johannesburg (file photo).

The SABC has suspended alleged perpetrators who were identified in its Commission of Inquiry into Sexual Harassment.

Those implicated include the alleged "sex-for-jobs" perpetrators, who have been served with requisite notices to afford them an opportunity to make written submissions as to why they believe the preliminary suspensions should not be made final.

Some of those implicated are managers at the public broadcaster.

The Commission's report also identified additional employees who may have been complicit by either aiding or abetting sexual harassment, through their act of omission or commission.

"The SABC is in the process of formulating charges (against those complicit) in line with HR policies and legislation," the broadcaster's spokesperson Neo Momodu said.

The SABC believes it has sufficient grounds to investigate further and has consequently issued suspension notices to the alleged perpetrators confirming their suspensions, pending a disciplinary inquiry", she concluded.

READ: Sexual harrassment cases at the SABC swept under the carpet - commission

The commission also found that the SABC was complicit in some cases, accusing the broadcaster of being oblivious to infringements of its sexual harassment policies.

It is currently unclear how many alleged perpetrators have been suspended, and which positions of management some of them hold.

Chaired by Barbara Watson, the commission recommended that the disciplinary processes be reheard in all the cases it had investigated.

Watson's commission also revealed that that the public broadcaster's sexual harassment policies did not meet international standards, and needed to be reviewed.

#EFFMediaBriefing Malema: Many women who have interacted with the SABC at many levels have spoken of how they are asked for sex in exchange of contracts, jobs and other opportunities.-- Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) July 5, 2018

Among the commission's other finding was that a strong perception existed that human resources personnel and senior managers colluded and that most senior managers had a serious lack of knowledge and understanding of human rights statutes, gender relations and issues of power relations between men and women.

At a media briefing in November, Watson said that "It was disturbing that none of the cases which have been reported have had the perpetrator being held to account."

The SABC board approved her recommendations for execution.

Source: News24

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