Manager a sex pest, say women workers

2009-11-18 00:00

THE police family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit is investigating a sexual harassment case against the manager of a local fast-food outlet.

The charge was laid on October 19 at Loop Street police station after a woman employee, whose name is being withheld, was allegedly sexually harassed by her manager.

The complainant alleges that the manager had called her to his office and after small talk about another woman employee, he fondled her breasts.

The manager is then alleged to have unzipped his trousers and asked her to perform oral sex. The incident is said to have taken place a day before the case was opened.

These revelations were made by the complainant in the presence of a representative from Bawu Allied Workers’ Union, Lethukuthula Madlala. The union is affiliated to the National Council of Trade Unions.

Also present were two other women: one with a similar complaint and the other complaining about unfair labour practices by the same manager.

“While fiddling with my breasts he asked if I was okay and I said no, I was not. He then asked me to perform oral sex on him and I told him that I was sick and that I had sores in my mouth,” the complainant alleged.

The other woman said she was harassed in December 2004. “He called me to his office and said he wanted to have sex with me. I refused and since then my life at work was a living hell.”

The employee was dismissed in the same month the incident took place.

Asked why she had not reported the matter to the police or to the labour department, the woman said the manager told her she would look stupid as there was no evidence of sexual harassment.

“Him being the manager and me being just a common person made me feel helpless. I know I should have reported this, but I didn’t have the guts to do so,” she said.

The third woman has worked for the outlet for six years and was accused of stealing.

When contacted for comment recently, the manager said he is aware of the case. “I have not been approached by investigators for a statement. I am taking legal action against the two ladies because I’m a well known person and what they say about me is lies,” said the manager.

Madlala said he had sent a number of faxes to the outlet’s human resources office in an attempt to engage them on behalf of the complainants. The last letter faxed is dated October 26.

“I have not received any response from these people. I’m still waiting” he said.

 

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