THE ANC in the Western Cape has accused the DA of “covering up” allegations of sexual harassment and abuse in the province and municipalities.
ANC leader of the opposition, Cameron Dugmore, said that after weeks of "denial" the party acknowledged that a senior provincial transport official was investigated for "among others, sexual harassment and committing a sexual act against a subordinate".
He said in the latest incident, Mossel Bay municipal manager Thys Giliomee was suspended “after an internal investigation found that he sexually harassed a junior employee”.
“His suspension was also kept secret and only revealed at a special council meeting on Thursday,” he said.
But DA constituency head in Mossel Bay, Jaco Londt, said there was no truth to the allegation of a “cover-up”, adding that the municipality “immediately” acted when these allegations were brought forward.
Dugmore said Giliomee has a few days to make a representation on why he should not be dismissed.
“What it makes worse is that DA politicians and senior managers prefer to protect the perpetrators rather than take a stand against gender-based violence, sexual harassment and racism," he said.
Londt said the municipality acted both in terms of the Systems Act and the Disciplinary Code for senior officials.
“There is absolutely no truth to the allegation of a cover-up. It is pure political opportunism from Mr Dugmore to make such a baseless allegation. We view this matter in a very serious light. Every step in this process was prudently followed to ensure that all parties’ rights are protected and that we conclude this matter as soon as possible,” Londt said.
This is a developing story and will be updated when more details emerge.