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Official charged with harassment

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Women claim they have been intimidated and harassed behind closed doors

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STAFF members at the Northern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison are reportedly afraid of being left alone in the company of a high-ranking official at the department who has been charged with sexual harassment.

The incidents are said to be ongoing and a number of women are apparently preparing to testify that they have been intimidated and harassed behind closed doors, as well as how they were threatened that they would lose their jobs if they refused to offer sexual favours.

One staff member refused to tolerate the alleged harassment and laid a criminal charge against the suspect, who continues to be in the office and she fears being victimised.

Officials at the department were also aware of the sexual harassment charge that was laid this month.

It is believed that the case has been handed over to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for a decision as to whether the charges will be prosecuted in a court of law.

Police spokesperson, Captain Sergio Kock, confirmed that the Kimberley SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit is investigating a case of sexual assault against the official.

“No arrests have been made yet. The police investigation continues,” said Kock.

Spokesperson for the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison, Keitumetse Moticoe, said she was not aware of the allegations.

“The department has not received any correspondence in relation to the allegations of sexual harassment against any of our officials at the department.”

She noted that the allegations were considered “in a serious light”.

“No form of harassment can be tolerated or condoned against anyone. If there are charges that have been opened with the authority, we will allow the law to take its course as necessary, however, no communication in this regard has reached the department.”

Moticoe pointed out that all officials were compelled to conduct themselves in accordance with the code of conduct for public servants.

“All employees are expected to follow the guidelines in their individual and professional conduct and ethical values.”