Axing of principal who tried to kiss PA stands
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Cape Town – A principal who hugged and tried to kiss his personal assistant by force has claimed he was just joking with his victim when confronted via WhatsApp.
Nyiko Baloyi, who was a principal at Thornridge Secondary School in Pretoria, further blamed stress for his act of sexual harassment.
He was confronted by the PA’s mother, who observed his sordid action through a half-closed window.
The sexual attack happened at Baloyi’s office. The victim testified in arbitration that Baloyi had asked her to proofread some letters in the office.
After she was done, Baloyi asked her to hug him, she testified. Baloyi squeezed her so tightly she felt his erection, the arbitrator heard.
He also tried to kiss her by force. The woman stated that she moved her face away and asked Baloyi to stop.
Later in the day, the PA’s mother confronted Baloyi via WhatsApp.
She stated in the WhatsApp text: “What you do is not acceptable the way you were hugging (my daughter) and trying to kiss her.
’’I saw you through the window I was waiting for (her) to say something but she didn’t. Am very disappointed I can’t believe it it’s from you (sic)”.
Baloyi replied that he was just joking. “I was just joking with her, sorry my sister, I apologise. Think you will find a place in your heart to forgive me. Sometimes when you are stressed you end-up acting funny. Will talk tomorrow Please (sic).”
The texts were deposed in arbitration. The arbitration was commissioned at Baloyi’s behest. He sought to overturn the Gauteng Education Department's 2020 decision to fire him.
Baloyi denied that he was referring to the sex pest allegations in his text.
He maintained that he was apologising for keeping the PA long after her knock-off time.
Baloyi also denied asking for a hug, saying the PA initiated it.
Arbitrator Themba Manganyi found that Baloyi sought to mislead him about the context of his WhatsApp text.
The mother’s “message was unambiguous as to why she was disappointed in Baloyi”, said Manganyi. He concluded that the version of Baloyi’s accusers was truthful and therefore the department acted correctly to axe him.
“Having made a determination that the (department’s) witnesses were credible and reliable and having found that their version was the most probable, I find that Baloyi was guilty as charged,” said Manganyi.