Lamola should investigate allegations of sexual harassment at SIU, says justice committee

2019-10-23 21:26
SIU head Andy Mothibi in Parliament. (Jan Gerber/News24)

SIU head Andy Mothibi in Parliament. (Jan Gerber/News24)

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Justice Minister Ronald Lamola must investigate allegations of sexual harassment against the head of the special investigating unit (SIU), Andy Mothibi, the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services resolved on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, before the SIU, led by Mothibi, appeared in Parliament last week, the Wise Collective - a women-led initiative and advocacy organisation - wrote a letter to the committee, claiming that in the two years after being appointed as SIU head, Mothibi's "priority has been to harass, victimise and terminate women, mostly senior women whom he regards as vocal against his shenanigans".

"Impunity must end and as members of the National Assembly not so long ago, in the joint sitting of Parliament, you again committed yourselves to ending gender-based violence and femicide. If you are true to your convictions, then you must act against sexual harassment and victimisation of women at the SIU," the organisation wrote to the MPs.

When Mothibi appeared before the committee last week, he said there were cases before the gender commission, CCMA, and Labour Court relating to sexual harassment. He dismissed the allegations, saying he was "happy to defend the SIU".

In a statement released on Wednesday, committee chairperson Bulelani Magwanishe said the matter would be referred to Lamola the very same day.

"We will inform the minister that the matter is very urgent and that there should be an expeditious investigation. Furthermore, we would require a report on this matter when we return to Parliament early in the new year," said Magwanishe.

"The SIU is very important in the fight against corruption and we cannot allow it to be destabilised."

The committee would engage with Lamola at the first possible opportunity in January 2020, added Magwanishe. 

Read more on:    siu  |  parliament  |  sexual harassment
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