Investigation clears Equal Education co-founder and prominent activist of sexual misconduct and cover-up

2018-11-28 07:04
Zackie Achmat is pictured during the #UniteBehind coalition press conference at St George's Cathedral. (Brenton Geach, Gallo Images, file)

Zackie Achmat is pictured during the #UniteBehind coalition press conference at St George's Cathedral. (Brenton Geach, Gallo Images, file)

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An independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct at Equal Education on Tuesday cleared co-founder Doron Isaacs as well as prominent activist Zackie Achmat of any wrongdoing.

"No evidence has been produced to support the existence of any of the allegations regarding an incident in 2009 involving Mr Doron Isaacs which allegation was reported in the Mail & Guardian newspaper of 18th May 2018 and all evidence available to this panel exonerated Mr Doron Isaacs of any wrongdoing with regard to such allegations," reads a report that is the result of an inquiry commissioned by Equal Education and chaired by retired Judge Kathleen Satchwell.

The Mail & Guardian, which interviewed more than a dozen Equal Education female staff members, reported that Isaacs had been repeatedly accused of sexual harassment in the May 2018 article.

The staff members alleged that there was an "institutional failure to address sexual harassment allegations, going back nearly a decade, and a concerted effort by the organisation to cover up the scandal".

The news publication further reported that Achmat had allegedly covered Isaac's tracks, however, the panel cleared Achmat of any wrongdoing.

"No evidence has been produced to support the existence of any allegations against Mr Achmat that he has silenced or intimidated or attempted to silence or intimidate any potential complainant against Isaacs as was reported in the Mail & Guardian newspaper of 18th May 2018 and all evidence available to this panel exonerated Mr Achmat of any wrongdoing," the 142-page report stated.

ALSO READ: I did not cover for Isaacs - Zackie Achmat on sexual harassment allegations

Achmat previously vehemently denied the allegation that he had covered for the movement's co-founder in allegations of sexual harassment as reported in the Mail & Guardian.

"It would be an act of violence against any complainant of sexual misconduct to suggest 'she asked for it'. Anyone who knows me will realise that this is something I would never do," Achmat stated in a previous News24 report.

The report in summary states that the finding by the organisation's human resources subcommittee in 2011 for the 2009 incident "was considered rational and correctly reflected the absence of evidence before them".

The report also makes no mention of specific recommendations to the organisation in respect of its policies, governance systems and practices.

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Read more on:    equal education  |  zackie achmat  |  doron isaacs
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