A traffic official has been accused of sexual harassment.
- A senior official in the Western Cape Traffic Department has been accused of sexual harassment and victimisation.
- The complaint came after a comment on a colleague’s dance style at a work function, among other incidents.
- The MEC for Transport and Public Works told Cape Talk an independent investigation will be conducted.
A senior official in the Western Cape Traffic Department has been accused of sexually harassing and victimising a colleague.
The complaint, revealed by Cape Talk, alleges that the official chided a female colleague for dancing like a stripper at a work function.
In another incident, the official is alleged to have told the woman she looks “lekker from behind”.
In an interview with Cape Talk host Kieno Kammies, Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said: “When I read [the complaint] it sounded very, very serious.”
He said an independent investigation is planned.
“But also we must give the opportunity for the other [person] to tell his side of the story,” Madikizela said.
Comment from the official being accused was not immediately available to News24.
According to the complaint, in June 2019 the traffic directorate in the province had a traffic law workshop with a motivational speaker.
One of the items on the agenda was to get five officials to dance in front of everyone.
The woman was nominated and was applauded after her dance.
However, the following week when she returned to her office, she was allegedly chided by the official, for dancing like women “in a strip club”, her complaint read.
She was told men were “undressing me with their eyes” and that it was best she seek other employment.
She later typed a document for him and was allegedly told “What k– is this?” [what rubbish is this?].
She was treated for anxiety and was booked off work.
She alleged that the official had made sexual remarks before, but she had been too scared to speak to anyone about it.
When she returned to work she and the official seemed to get along, but things became fraught again when she was asked to pack up the office of a personal assistant to a senior colleague.
She pointed out that she had a bad back and was offered help, but also did not feel right that the person’s office was going to be packed up while they still held the position.
They eventually discussed this at a meeting where the official she is accusing allegedly told her: “Yor you mos look lekka from behind” [wow, you look nice from behind].
She told him not to do it again, and eventually reported the official to a colleague at work.
At a meeting, she was accused of lying and was threatened with a defamation lawsuit. She collapsed with an anxiety attack afterwards.
A spokesperson for the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works said the department is aware of it the allegation of sexual harassment against a senior manager.
“As with all allegations of this nature, the DTPW 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.”