Home News Calls to remove JTG Speaker over sexual harassment

Calls to remove JTG Speaker over sexual harassment

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The Speaker was sworn in in Kuruman on December 3, despite having been dismissed from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture on May 10 after he was found guilty of sexual harassment as well as victimisation of the complainant.

CALLS are being made for the immediate removal of the newly elected Speaker of the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality after he was found guilty of sexual harassment.

ANC provincial chairperson Deshi Ngxanga said on Tuesday that he would first “check with the region regarding the facts around the matter”.

It was not confirmed whether the Speaker had passed all background checks, if the party was aware of the circumstances around his dismissal and what precautions would be taken to safeguard women employed at the municipality from falling victim to the same crime.

The Speaker was sworn in in Kuruman on December 3, despite having been dismissed from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture on May 10 after he was found guilty of sexual harassment as well as victimisation of the complainant.

In the labour award, it was noted that despite the “seriousness of the charges and the delaying pattern of events that unfolded before and during the hearing”, his attitude was “dismissive”, where he displayed no remorse or regard for the events that unfolded.

It was instructed that he should be “immediately dismissed”.

The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Conrad Fortune, confirmed that the said official was employed in the department in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District as the district manager.

“The matter of the said official is still sub judice and therefore it will be unprofessional and unethical for the department to respond or comment on the matter on any public platform and in this case the media,” said Fortune.

He added that they were not able to confirm whether the official had resigned or if he had found employment elsewhere.

“No written correspondence of such has reached the Office of the MEC for the attention of the executive authority, who is primarily responsible for the appointment and termination of services of employees.”

The convener of the JTG Activists Forum for Service Delivery, Olebogeng Leserwane, expressed shock following the appointment of the JTG municipal Speaker on December 3.

“The forum was reliably informed about his previous conduct, where he was charged and found guilty of misconduct for sexual harassment. This happened against the backdrop of the scourge of gender-based violence and during the 16 Days of Activism campaign,” said Leserwane.

He pointed out that the appointment went against the policies of the ANC to protect women and children.

“South Africa is driven only by emotions and politics of factions as well as preference. Their political rhetoric remains just a smokescreen approach for them to gain votes and support during elections. We are not surprised by their stance as it reveals their true colours.

“The policies they adopt at their conferences remain ink on paper without anything being implemented. The ruling party continues to oppress women while they continue to place cadres with questionable characters and conduct in positions of power.”

Leserwane added that the Speaker should have been subject to the step-aside policy.

“It appears as if this policy was only applicable to political opponents within their party and driven by hatred and political management to silence opposing views.

“If their position was genuine and true, they wouldn’t have included the Speaker, who was found guilty of sexual harassment, as a candidate on their list of councillors. The outcome of the disciplinary processes dated May 10, 2021 concluded that the official be dismissed with immediate effect to ‘create a conducive environment free from the risk of further humiliation or intimidation’.”

Leserwane believed that the rule of law had been undermined for the sake of “political interests”. “They care less for the well-being of vulnerable women and children.”

The chairperson of the Congress of South African Students in the John Taolo Gaetsewe region, Tshepang Baikedi, expressed “disappointment and disgust” over the Speaker’s appointment.

“The Speaker must step aside, it can’t be correct that an ANC member who was found guilty of sexual harassment was elected. How are female employees at the municipality expected to feel safe in their working environment? We are pleading with our glorious movement to stop people from destroying this noble organisation,” said Baikedi.

He pointed out that the JTG District was the only region in the Northern Cape that failed to appoint a young person to lead the municipality or ensure that 25 percent of councillors were young people.

“Before the election, the ANC Youth League became so excited that they were twerking around JTG with their useless programmes and promises for young people and swearing that they would at least deliver a young vibrant person as a Speaker or mayor.

“It is clear that all those programmes were about them benefiting from those useless programmes.

“The mouths of young people were shut after they were offered two slices, a KFC drumstick and T-shirts that stretched into a dress after a single wash.”

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