Sex and lies at Freedom Park

2013-11-10 14:00

Drama continues to unfold since sexual harassment accusations against CEO

“Please help us. Freedom Park is not free!” This is the plea from staff at one of South Africa’s richest cultural sites, a Pretoria memorial to the liberation struggle.

Over the past two weeks, City Press has spoken at length with almost a dozen current and former staff members.

They related the drama that continues to unfold at the monument since sexual harassment accusations were levelled against CEO Fana Jiyane by fundraising officer Peggy Dube in August 2012.

They do not want their names published because they fear victimisation.

They have been strictly prohibited from speaking to the media and management has, they say, tried repeatedly to stem the leaks.

Jiyane referred all questions to the chairperson of the Freedom Park council, through whom he denied any sexual harassment allegations.

The Dube matter is being investigated by the Public Protector, who is also investigating sexual harassment claims by Jiyane’s PA in his previous position as CEO of the Cradle of Humankind.

City Press has learnt that:

» An expensive new investigation into Dube’s sexual harassment claims has cleared the CEO after an earlier report recommended he face disciplinary action;

» The Public Protector will subpoena the first report – which has been requested but not received – and will also subpoena the Freedom Park council;

» Three staff members were suspended for questioning the CEO in a staff meeting, including asking about his relationships with two female staff members; and

» He is facing two civil cases of defamation – one from Dube and one from a dismissed staff member – and Freedom Park is paying for his defence.

At Freedom Park, Jiyane attracts such loathing that a junior staff member said: “He is a contender for worst boss in South Africa. Freedom Park is in chains.”

“It’s not Freedom Park; it’s a one-man show. It’s Jiyane Park. In fact, it’s Animal Farm,” said a manager.

In the past year, the monthly staff meetings at Freedom Park have become a battlefield, said the staff.

“I will crush you” and “You won’t know what hit you” are some of the phrases the staff members interviewed recalled the scripture- and philosophy-quoting Jiyane using.

They say he has frequently told staff they shouldn’t worry about him losing his job as he was well connected and had people who would “look after me”.

Jiyane denies making any of these statements.

Read: Oppression at Freedom Park 

» Talk to us: What should the minister of arts and culture do about the allegations swirling around Freedom Park's CEO?

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.