SA group complains about Mashabane's provincial appointment

27 Organizations bring complaint concerning the appointment of Norman Mashabane to the Limpopo Provincial Legislature

March 29, 2007

The National Working Group on Sexual Offences, a group of 27 organizations working on issues related to sexual offences, today submitted a complaint to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) concerning the appointment of Norman Mashabane to the Limpopo Provincial Legislature.

In December 2006, the Pretoria High Court overturned a decision by the Minister of Foreign Affairs exonerating Mr Mashabane of sexual harassment during his term as South Africa's Ambassador to Indonesia. The Pretoria High Court found that Mr Mashabane had committed 21 acts of sexual harassment and ordered the Minister to apologise to Mr Mashabane's victim.

The Working Group is extremely concerned that the appointment of Mr Mashabane to public office undermines the many initiatives underway to combat gender based violence, of which sexual harassment is a form. The Constitution requires that all members of provincial legislatures uphold the values of the Constitution, which include women's rights to equality, dignity and freedom from all forms of violence. The Working Group believes that Mr Mashabane's past conduct suggests that he is not committed to ensuring that women in South Africa can live lives free from violence and regard their workplaces as safe and protected spaces.

The Working Group has therefore asked the SAHRC and the CGE to investigate Mr Mashabane's appointment.

For more information and a copy of the complaint, please contact:
Liesl Gerntholtz, Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre 083 600 3592.

For more information on the complaint and the national working group please contact:
Meaka Biggs, Cape Town Rape Crisis Trust 083 383 0206 – Issued by SA National Working Group on Sexual Offences

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