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Calls for task team to probe sex assault allegations

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A march was held and a memorandum was handed over to the MEC for Education, calling for a task team to be established to investigate sexual assaults at schools and in the workplace.

A march was held against the sexual abuse of learners. Picture: Soraya Crowie

WOMEN Waging War on GBVF, Inequality, Abuse and Poverty, the United Democratic Front and Rise Mzansi have called for the removal of the chief director of human resources at the Northern Cape Department of Education, failing which they have threatened to prevent the official from entering the gates when he reports for duty.

A march was held on Friday and a memorandum was handed over to the MEC for Education, Zolile Monakali, calling for a task team to be established to investigate sexual assaults at schools and in the workplace.

A march was held to the Department of Education. Picture: Soraya Crowie

The convenor of the march, Milly Wolfe, indicated that the chief director was appearing in court on charges relating to alleged sexual offences, yet he had never been suspended.

“This is while the women that he sexually harassed are sitting at home. They are too afraid to return to work,” said Wolfe.

A march was held to the Department of Education. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Wolfe advised that police clearance and security vetting be obtained for all senior officials and that the necessary support be provided to victims of discrimination, abuse and violence.

“Women are being raped at the workplace and inside toilets at the department while perpetrators are protected,” she said.

A march was held to the Department of Education. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Wolfe also called for the release of a report dated July 2023 that investigated the alleged culture of abuse and rape at the Northern Cape Department of Education as well as the irregular appointment of two chief directors.

“It was completed months ago and yet no findings have been released to the public. We demand accountability.

“We demand a lifestyle audit and immediate investigation into the blatant abuse of power by a cabal ruling the Northern Cape Department of Education with heartlessness, thuggery, criminality and cruelty. These untouchables are killing the morale at the department and do not provide a conducive environment for teaching and learning. This is the same cabal that must be held accountable for the lowest matric pass rate in the country.”

Kgagamotso Motebe from the United Democratic Front. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Kgagamotso Motebe from the United Democratic Front pointed out that if ordinary workers were implicated in the same offences, the department would not hesitate to charge and dismiss them.

“Senior managers on the contrary face no consequences. The premier must take steps against the MEC for Education for failing to act against his staff,” said Motebe.

The MEC for Education, Zolile Monakali. Picture: Soraya Crowie

MEC Monakali indicated that the safety of children and their protection against sexual predators remained a top priority.

He committed to following up on progress regarding the complaints but reiterated that they needed substantial evidence to prove the allegations.

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