Senior Free State official placed on special leave after sexual harassment allegations

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A senior official in the Free State Department of Economic and Small Business Development who is facing allegations of sexual harassment has been placed on special leave.

A case of sexual harassment has been opened against the official by the female victim who is a co-worker.

It is alleged that the senior official at the department sexually harassed and intimidated the female employee last week.

The incident allegedly happened at the department’s offices in Bloemfontein.

The department’s spokesperson, Tiisetso Makhele says the department has also instituted an internal investigation.

He says, “As stated in our sexual harassment policy, the head of the department immediately appointed the sexual harassment advisor to investigate and process the matter within 30 days. The department has also as mandated by the DPSA guidelines, considered precautionary separation of the complainant and the respondent through placing the respondent on special leave while the internal processes are on course. The department commits to abide by all the polices, prescripts and guidelines to ensure that the matter is put to finality.”

Gender-Based Violence

Meanwhile, Northern Cape Premier, Dr. Zamani Saul says the province has established a high levelled police task team to deal with incidents of Gender-Based Violence including rape.

Saul who is also the chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC) in the province has expressed concern about the increasing number of violence against women and children since the beginning of the year.

He spoke to SABC News when closing Women’s Month.

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Additional reporting by Thabiso Radebe.