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Cape Town - The Department of Women (DoW) has condemned the strip-searching of 40 female staff over the menstruation incident at gambling franchise Topbet and deemed it 'inhumane and a gross violation of human rights'.

The women were allegedly strip-searched by cleaners at the direction from a manager.

The strip-search was believed to have been done to identify a person who left a blood stain on the toilets.

Two people have been charged with sexual assault and the one who opened the case of sexual harassment against the manager claimed to have been suspended.

DoW considers the suspension 'secondary victimisation'.

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) called on action to be taken against the perpetrators.

“Indecent treatment and humiliation of employees of this nature must be included in the definition of sexual harassment in company policies and accordingly classified as a dismissible offence for anyone who crosses the line,” said Sanco national spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu, adding that the women must be compensated for the trauma and the indignity they have suffered.