16 April 2019

South Africa: Wits Gender Equity Office Under Scrutiny but Veil of Secrecy Has Been Cast Over Report


An investigation into the Wits University's Gender Equity Office's conduct and execution of its duties has been completed but details of the report, which was finalised more than a month ago, will remain secret.

Question marks still hang over the Wits University's Gender Equity Office (GEO) as a commissioned report into the office's conduct and execution of its mandate remains under wraps.

Wits University has confirmed that an investigation was undertaken by advocate Adila Hassim in November 2018. Hassim was co-founder and director of litigation at Section27 in November last year before joining Thulamela Chambers.

Wits Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib says the report, which was finalised this month, was commissioned as an "independent assessment" as part of refining processes at the GEO, which he calls a "pioneering social invention that is in a continuous process of perfection".

The VC's office was also where GEO staff referred all queries to from Daily Maverick, as the GEO reports directly to Habib.

Habib says the report will remain "for his eyes only" and will not be made public at this stage. He confirms though that Hassim's report reviewed the GEO's handling of seven recent cases and acknowledges that there has been "pushback" from...

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