Sys­tem failed sex pest vic­tim

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

Sex pests have got to be the luck­i­est peo­ple on planet earth, es­pe­cially when they are ed­u­cated and hold po­si­tions of power.

Some get away with mur­der be­cause their vic­tims do not speak out for fear the per­pe­tra­tors would use their power to fur­ther sub­ju­gate them. But those whose vic­tims speak out some­how know how to ma­nip­u­late the sys­tem.

A case in point is an al­leged sex pest who sex­u­ally ha­rassed his sub­or­di­nate at the Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg. This man would go into the woman’s of­fice and ask her to touch his pri­vate parts and per­form oral sex on him.

For two years, this man­ager is al­leged to have also sent her porno­graphic ma­te­rial via his of­fi­cial work e-mail, and made in­ap­pro­pri­ate re­marks.

But in­stead of fac­ing the mu­sic, the man sim­ply re­signed a day be­fore his dis­ci­plinary hear­ing was to start, en­sur­ing no ac­tion was taken against him.

This per­son left with his in­tegrity in­tact. He is prob­a­bly hold­ing a po­si­tion of power at another in­sti­tu­tion be­cause, in the words of UJ spokesper­son Kaamini Reddy “if an em­ployee re­signs, it ends the con­tract which grants UJ the power to take ac­tion against the per­son”.

The man’s res­ig­na­tion en­sured he got all his ben­e­fits and doesn’t have a cloud hang­ing over his head and damp­en­ing his fu­ture ca­reer prospects.

But he left be­hind a bro­ken woman who feels the sys­tem has failed her.

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