Judge Kathy Satchwell to head inquiry into Equal Education sexual harassment complaints

2018-07-12 17:48
Doron Isaacs (Netwerk24)

Doron Isaacs (Netwerk24)

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Equal Education's (EE) national council (NC) has established a panel of respected academics, headed by Judge Kathy Satchwell, to investigate claims of sexual harassment against former treasurer Doron Isaacs.

The civil society group was under the spotlight earlier this year when several women accused Isaacs and two other members of sexual harassment. Isaacs resigned from his position as treasurer and member of EE in May this year.

EE general secretary Noncedo Madubedube said the organisation requested its national council to suspend Isaacs and investigate the claims against him a day before he resigned.

They further requested that similar claims for which he was cleared in 2011 be revisited.

"The NC formally resolved to establish an inquiry on 22 May. Law firm Cheadle Thompson and Haysom was asked to act as independent liaison with experienced external counsel, and to brief counsel on the drafting of terms of reference for the Isaacs panel," she said.

READ: Equal Education meets with WC education department over sexual harassment allegations

Madubedube added that the law firm, along with the national council, agreed that retired Judge Satchwell should chair the inquiry.

Dr Malose Langa, an academic at Wits University who focuses on risk-taking behaviour among the youth and their role in politics, and Professor Rashida Manjoo, who is based at UCT's law faculty, were selected.

"The establishment of this inquiry will afford complainants an opportunity to voice any complaints they may have against Isaacs. The inquiry will look into issues relating to sexual harassment and/or similar misconduct," Madubedube said.

READ: Sexual harassment in the spotlight at Equal Education congress

She said the panel would convene at the Cape Town offices of Cheadle Thompson and Haysom from 10:00 to 15:00 between July 25 and 27, August 9 and 10, and August 20 to 23.

"We want to acknowledge the courage of those who have already come forward," Madubedube said.

"We reaffirm our commitment to confronting and addressing sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence in our organisation, and doing so in a transparent manner."

"We will do so while ensuring fair, independent, investigative processes and that there is a sensitive and supportive environment for those who have been mistreated to come forward."

Read more on:    equal education  |  gender violence

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