Baynesfield: women suspended for assaulting ‘harasser’

2014-09-11 00:00

SIX women employees were suspended from Baynesfield estate near Thornville on Monday for allegedly assaulting a superior.

They however accused the man of sexually harassing them.

The women said they had had enough of the harassment without any action being taken against the man.

“We tried to beat him up, but he fought back and injured three other ladies. One of us got injured in the eye and others busted their lips during the fight,” one of the women, Zandile Mkhize, told The Witness.

The United Chemical Industry Metal Health and Allied Workers’ Union (UCI Meshawu) regional organiser, Lethukuthula Madlala, attended to the incident on Monday after the workers were told not to return to work.

Madlala said he has received several written complaints from employees complaining about the superior in question.

A former Baynesfield worker, who asked that her name be withheld, said she was also fired by the same man after she refused to have a sexual affair with him.

“He forces you to do something, and if you don’t, you receive a warning immediately,” she said.

The employees said they felt that management had defended the man for a long time and that he “always walks free” .

Baynefield’s managing director, Myles van Deventer, confirmed that the six women were suspended.

He however said management had not received complaints of sexual harassment.

He said the man had called management to report that he was assaulted by the staff. “Based on the statement we ­received, we suspended the six ladies from work pending a hearing set down for September 17,” he said.

He said all parties will be given an opportunity to present evidence and call witnesses at the hearing. “Should anyone be found guilty in this hearing, action will be taken against them,” he said.

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