Cape Town – Ilitha Labantu have commended the complainant for speaking out about incidents of sexual harassment allegedly suffered at the hands of a senior Western Cape traffic official.
The civil organisation and women’s rights group are calling on the official to recuse himself from his position until the case is finalised.
The senior provincial traffic official is being probed for alleged sexual harassment, which is said to have taken place before he was appointed to his post.
The department said the complaint was received last week, almost two months after the official was appointed to the senior position.
“We understand the state of GBV in SA is bad. We have a progressive Constitution but in practice this it not the case.
“More institutions need to denounce these actions. When they keep quiet they give perpetrators all the power.
“If they stand up it disempowers these perpetrators,” said Ilitha Labantu spokesperson, Siyabulela Monakali.
Western Cape Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said his HOD, Jacqui Gooch, had been assigned to investigate the alleged incidents in 2019 and this year.
“GBV (gender-based violence) is a scourge and a cancer that is bedevilling our country. It is a matter I take very seriously. But at the same time it’s important to create a neutral and safe environment where both parties are given an opportunity to tell their side of the story. That’s why the investigation must be external, in order to remove any perception of bias,” Madikizela said.
Department spokesperson Jandre Bakker said: “Set procedures are followed in cases of this nature. As with all allegations of this nature, the Department of Transport and Public Works gives its full support to the investigation, which will follow the established processes linked to matters of this nature. The complainant has access to additional support via our employee assistance programme. The investigating structure will manage the process from this point forward.”