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Legislature to probe harassment

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“Nehawu also brought this matter to the attention of the Secretary to the Legislature, who at the time of the occurrence was away from the legislature, attending to his official duties"

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THE NORTHERN Cape Provincial Legislature (NCPL) said it would investigate allegations of sexual harassment that were made against a senior manager.

The National Education and Health Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) handed in written complaints regarding the incidents last week to the legislature Secretary, where they stated that to date, no steps had been taken to protect female staff members from unwanted advances from their superiors.

Spokesperson of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, Carmen Gopane, yesterday indicated that the Secretary of the NCPL considered the allegations to be “disturbing, regrettable and of serious nature”.

“Due processes will follow, in terms of the applicable policies and procedures. Currently the NCPL is using the Code of good practice with regards to sexual harassment and the disciplinary policy.”

She confirmed that two verbal complaints were submitted by two female employees on November 28, relating to improper conduct/remarks by a senior official.

“Nehawu also brought this matter to the attention of the Secretary to the Legislature, who at the time of the occurrence was away from the legislature, attending to his official duties.

“Subsequent to being informed about the complaints and in an effort to respond swiftly to the allegations, the human capital manager requested the employee relations practitioner to obtain written formal complaints from the two complainants.”

Gopane added that one of the complainants submitted a written complaint on December 2.

“The second complainant is yet to submit a written complaint. The Secretary to the NCPL, then informed the complainant that an investigation would be conducted into these allegations and requested that an independent investigator be immediately appointed.

“He instructed that immediate supportive and protective measures be activated in favour of the complainant.”

She stated that the NCPL does not condone any form of harassment or sexual misconduct.

“The Secretary to the NCPL stated at the onset that these allegations must be taken seriously, irrespective of whether the harassment was verbal or physical and irrespective of who was involved. Allegations of this nature warrants the NCPL to respond quickly and appropriately to the matter, whilst ensuring that due processes are followed.”

– Sandi Kwon Hoo