Mon, 01 Jun 2020

Two South African advocacy groups say they are concerned with "what seems to be an endemic culture of sexual harassment" within national broadcaster, the SABC.

In a joint statement, the Right to Know Campaign (R2K) and SOS said they felt that the "culture of silence around the matter" was cause for concern.

They said the allegations that have emerged are of a serious nature and had to be resolved as soon as possible.

"It is clear that this has been continuing for a long time and has been successfully kept under the radar by the leadership at the institution. Further, this raises serious questions about the institution's knowledge, concern and ability to address issues of rape and sexual violence in the workplace."

Both groups said there had to be decisive action taken on all the allegations and criticised SABC leadership for not applying its sexual harassment policy more stringently.

READ: Lotus FM indicative of a 'prevalent' culture of sexual harassment at the SABC - former employee

"Beyond transparency, we also believe that there needs to be proper training regarding sexual harassment in the workplace in order to spark a conversation on these issues and create a culture where employees are not only unafraid to report sexual harassment incidents but also play an active role in preventing these incidents from occurring."

They called for workshops to equip employees with strategies that make it easy to identify when sexual harassment is occurring and how to confront it.

"Further, we demand that a policy be created to protect all whistleblowers in order to reinforce and encourage issues of sexual harassment to be reported without any victimisation or negative repercussions."

Both groups said that the commission of inquiry into sexual harassment and editorial interference at the SABC should be made public with criminal charges to be pursued against perpetrators.

READ: SABC urged to act swiftly against perpetrators of sexual harassment

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