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‘I was not protected’: former HeartFM employee lodged four charges against senior male staffer

Clarence Ford

Clarence Ford

Published Dec 20, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - A former HeartFM employee had lodged four formal grievances against a senior staff member relating to sexual harassment, the Cape Times has learned.

In a separate issue, radio legend Clarence Ford bid farewell to the station after 24 years, citing “bullying” among his reasons.

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According to CCMA documents seen by the Cape Times, the employee had laid four formal grievances against the manager in question, relating to “sexual harassment, discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, as well as the negligent or intentional endangerment of myself and other staff members amid the Covid pandemic”.

The former employee had also lodged a complaint with the Legal Practice Council (LPC) against the attorney who handled an internal process.

While according to the documents the labour matter was settled in October this year and non-disclosure agreements were signed, the LPC matter was ongoing.

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HeartFM managing director Renee Redelinghuys said the station could not comment on the matter at this stage.

“No comment at this stage as it’s an internal matter,” she said.

It is alleged, in supporting documents, that at a staff party held at a villa in Camps Bay, the former employee was allegedly directed to the bathroom by the manager in question, who allegedly followed her.

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“I walked upstairs to the destination he pointed out. He then followed me to the bathroom and burst in the door shortly after I sat down. I was wearing a dress and tried to cover myself while immediately apologising for not locking the door. He stood in the doorway, said nothing and looked me up and down slowly.

“As I was about to ask him to leave, he exited the bathroom and left the door slightly ajar. Directly after finishing in the loo, I approached him in the lounge area, again trying to apologise.

“Mid sentence, he gestured for me to stop talking and turned towards two male colleagues. I then approached (another colleague) for help. She told me to try (to) ignore it and not get close to (him) in future,” the statement read.

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The documents further allege that according to the former employee, more was done to “protect” the alleged perpetrator during the company’s internal process than to protect herself.

“During the course of this investigation, more was done to protect my abuser than me and (he) has on more than one occasion intimidated me in the office, more so after I laid my complaint.

“He was not suspend(ed) or asked to keep his distance from me pending the investigation. “I was not informed of my rights in the grievance process or given a notice of receipt,” documents relating to the case read.

Cape Times

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