Sex pest Mashabane quits

Time of article published Dec 6, 2006

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Former foreign affairs diplomat Norman Mashabane, found guilty of sexual harassment, has stepped down from his position as political adviser to Limpopo Premier Sello Moloto.

Moloto's spokesperson Mogale Nchabeleng on Wednesday morning said Mashabane had asked to "be relieved of his duties" with immediate effect.

This comes after the Pretoria High Court last week ruled in favour of a foreign affairs employee Lara Swart and ordered Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to foot the bill for Swart's legal costs which was estimated to be as high as R500 000.

Swart went to court to appeal against a decision made by Dlamini-Zuma in 2004 to let Mashabane off the hook on sexual harassment charges after he was found guilty by a departmental disciplinary hearing.

Mashabane, the former ambassador to Indonesia was found guilty on 22 charges at an initial hearing into the matter in 2001, but he appealed and was allowed to continue in his post, pending the outcome.

In June 2003, another charge was laid against him and he was again found guilty.

However, on July 7, 2004, Dlamini-Zuma cleared him of any wrongdoing and upheld his appeal.

On Wednesday morning Nchabeleng said Moloto had still been in the process of studying the court's judgment in consultation with the lawyers in his office when Mashabane asked to be "relieved of his duties".

He said Moloto had "found it to be making sense".

The DA last week called on Dlamini-Zuma to "apologise" to the victim.

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