Tshwane ANC women's caucus relieved at suspension of manager for alleged sexual harassment
Pretoria – The ANC women's caucus in Tshwane has expressed relief after council resolved to suspend a senior manager implicated in alleged sexual harassment pending further investigations.
On Monday, council hosted a virtual sitting at which it resolved the manager must be placed on a three-month suspension.
This was after two female subordinates to the manager had lodged complaints of sexual harassment against him.
The names of the victims and the manager had been withheld due to the sensitivity of the case.
The ANC women’s caucus had been at the forefront of calling for action to be taken against the manager since the allegations came to light last year.
Caucus acting spokesperson, Rebecca Morudu, said: "We are happy that the report recommended that the alleged perpetrator must be suspended."
She, however, said the caucus was disappointed about the person who was proposed by the acting city manager Mmaseabata Mutlaneng to act in the manager's position.
As the City's administrative head, Mutlaneng was charged with compiling a report entailing recommendations related to the course of action that should be followed by council in formulating disciplinary measures against the accused.
The caucus questioned the independence of the person proposed to head the department after he filed an affidavit in support of the manager's side of the story.
Morudu said the appointment of the person in the acting position could subject the victims to further harassment and intimidation.
"We don't want the department to encounter the same problem again. We want the City to maintain stability within the department. We want to see every woman who works in the city being happy, especially in that department," she said.
To counter the appointment, both the EFF and ANC brought forward the name of a female official within the same department.
Council opted to resolve the matter through voting, which was allegedly marred by technological glitches.
The multi-party whippery decided to have a rerun of the voting today..
Morudu said: "We know that as the ANC and the EFF that we have the majority of numbers and the person we want to take over the position is a woman. We believe she will take this matter seriously by making sure that all women in that department are safe and not intimidated."
She told the virtual council sitting on Monday that the ANC had learned with disappointment that the complainants were being harassed and victimised.
"We have evidence, madam Speaker, that after reporting the harassment, the victims were taken off certain work platforms where important departmental decisions are made and isolated. Other colleagues in the department, who otherwise would have assisted the investigative process, were cowered into silence by such actions of bravado and perceptions of political protection," Morudu said.
According to the resolution, the suspension would take effect pending the probe by independent investigators, who were expected to submit a report to the city manager within 30 days of appointment.