Career in ruins after sexual harassment claim

2014-07-06 10:46

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When Londiwe Sukazi joined the KwaZulu-Natal legislature as a communications intern last February, it seemed that the orphan from Esikhawini, Empangeni, had finally had a lucky break.

But the 23-year-old’s mentor, communications officer Wesley Canham, allegedly asked for hugs, kisses and massages behind closed doors.

Sukazi successfully charged Canham, a married man with two children, with sexual harassment but Canham appealed and was reinstated.

Sukazi says her remaining time at the legislature was “hell” – colleagues believed his defence that she had been part of a plot to get him axed.

Canham is now suing Sukazi for defamation, but she has gone to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) in a bid to have his conduct and that of legislature speaker Nerusha Naidoo investigated.

“I know my career is over before it even started. I still have no regrets. I did what I did for myself and for other young women who are in the same situation.

Meanwhile, her case has become a political football in a battle between rival unions, Nehawu and the breakaway Provincial and Allied Workers’ Union of SA (Pawusa).

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