ANCWL reacts to sexual harassment claims against Gupta brothers

2017-07-07 14:42

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Johannesburg - The ANC Women's League (ANCWL) says it will stand with survivors of violence and sexual abuse, calling on society to report sexual abuse so that justice can be served.

This was in response to a report by amaBhungane and Scorpio that three women had accused two of the Gupta brothers of sexual harassment.

In an article published on News24, amaBhungane and Scorpio reported that a woman, who they referred to as "Christine" for her protection, was allegedly subjected to sexual harassment by one of the Gupta brothers.

All of the Gupta brothers are married.

The woman, who was employed as a personal assistant, flew to Cape Town with the Gupta brothers for an overnight business trip.

SPECIAL REPORT: #GuptaLeaks

'Spiked' drink

Her presence was ignored until they arrived at a house where she was barred from using her phone and offered a drink which she claims may have been spiked.

After being instructed to go to the bedroom for a "meeting" by the younger Gupta brother, Rajesh "Tony" Gupta allegedly told Christine that all his PAs gave him massages and slept in the same bed as him, before asking her to give him a massage.

She claimed this made her uncomfortable, and that she had declined.

Her fears prompted her to call her husband while she was locked in the room, and while Gupta attended to business in another part of the house. The woman became increasingly worried, as she was offered more of the suspicious beverage that she claims tasted like alcohol.

Christine was eventually released from the house and, due to her ordeal, she hid fearfully in a bush while waiting for a relative to come and fetch her - leaving behind a few of her belongings.

She was employed for only 24 hours before resigning in an email found in the treasure trove of emails that were leaked in May.

"I, [Name], [ID number], hereby hand in my resignation letter with immediate effect under the circumstances of Sexual Harassment," reads Christine's resignation letter.

The story also detailed accounts from other employees who were subjected to alleged sexual harassment by both Ajay and Tony Gupta, including that of a woman who became submissive to their advances in order to keep her job.

#GuptaLeaks: Working for the Guptas, where sexual harassment was part of the job

'Thank you'

She claimed to have been gifted after each encounter as a form of "thank you".

The ANCWL said in a statement on Friday that they acknowledge that the claims may not be true as they have not yet been verified. They acknowledged the principle of "innocent until proven guilty".

In the statement, they appealed to society to stand up against sexual abuse and violence, and to offer support to those who are survivors of sexual abuse, saying that such crimes should be reported so the law can take its course.

"We firmly believe in the principles of the Freedom Charter which state that all shall be equal before the law and hopes for a fair and just trial as no-one is above the law," reads the statement.

Read more on:    ancwl  |  gupta brothers  |  johannesburg  |  gender rights  |  gupta emails  |  gupta leaks

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