Political parties in Tshwane have welcomed the dismissal of chief audit executive Moeketsi Ntsimane after mayor Randal Williams said he was found guilty of misconduct, saying it would send a strong message to men to respect women in the workplace.
The Tshwane council resolved to dismiss Ntsimane, who has also previously acted as city manager, after a meeting that started on Thursday night and ended at 1am.
Ntsimane was suspended by council on January 18 last year after allegations of sexual harassment were levelled against him.
He was formally charged with allegations of misconduct and subjected to a disciplinary hearing on April 19 last year.
EFF regional chairperson Obakeng Ramabodu said: “We are of the view that any form of sexual harassment in the municipality will not be tolerated… As an organisation, we’d like to send a very strong message to men who are in a position of power that they should never take advantage of women, particularly in the office space.
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“The man was using his position and undermining women which was totally unacceptable. As the EFF, we welcome the report.”
According to two councillors who saw the confidential report discussed in council, women testified that Ntsimane allegedly looked at women inappropriately inside lifts, the boardroom and would make remarks such as that they are “sexy”.
Ntsimane went to the Labour Court to try and get his suspension lifted and his disciplinary process annulled, but his application was dismissed with costs on May 10.
He did not respond to calls. Asked via text if he was aware of the decision and if he would be challenging it or not, Ntsimane responded: ” Not awre (sic) nor received same. Any falsehood will be challenged at high court.”
He did not respond to follow-up questions at the time of going to print.
The ANC also welcomed the decision, saying the disciplinary process vindicated the ANC women’s caucus.
“We believe the city is complicit when it comes to many forms of harassment in the workplace. We will demand that victims of Mr Ntsimane should be supported and offered counselling and a campaign on GBV must be launched in earnest,” said ANC chief whip Aaron Maluleka.
On Monday, Tshwane mayor Randall Williams said in a statement: “Disciplinary processes for senior managers in local government are extensively legislated in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000). As such, the city ensured that due process was followed throughout this matter.”