Sexual misconduct cover-up allegations at Equal Education 'left an indelible scar' – Zackie Achmat

2018-11-29 19:40
Zackie Achmat. (Brenton Geach, Gallo Images, file)

Zackie Achmat. (Brenton Geach, Gallo Images, file)

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Activist Zackie Achmat has welcomed the findings of an independent investigation into claims that he covered up allegations of sexual harassment against Equal Education co-founder Doron Isaacs.

In May 2018, Mail & Guardian interviewed more than a dozen Equal Education female staff members who claimed that Isaacs had repeatedly sexually harassed them and that Achmat had covered his tracks.

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".

Following the publication of the damning report, an independent investigation into the allegations, chaired by retired Judge Kate Satchwell, was conducted and both men were cleared of all wrongdoing.

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

"It is clear that the Mail & Guardian published false allegations aimed at the destruction of my reputation, and which left an indelible scar on Equal Education and all the movements and organisations with which I am associated, their leaders and their members," Achmat said in a statement.

The 142-page report read: "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."

Achmat, however, acknowledged that he should have done more to change the organisational culture at Equal Education.

"It is clear to me that we have work to do and must continue to do work already underway to address sexual violence, power and patriarchy in our campaigns, organisations and movements," he said.

Read more on:    equal education  |  zackie achmat
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