Lennit Max should be replaced - NEHAWU

Union accuses DA of tolerating the harassment of black women


NEHAWU is deeply disturbed by the endless reports of criminal conduct and allegations of racist and sexual harassment of women by senior managers of the Western Cape legislature. This follows reports that the MEC of Community Safety, Mr. Lennit Max is on special paid leave pending the outcome of a case brought against him by a former police station clerk of sexual harassment. 

What is even more worrying to us is that the DA led provincial government appointed Lennit Max as MEC of Community Safety despite the fact that he had already been accused of victimisation and sexual harassment by four women who worked with him when he was the provincial police commissioner.

The union calls on the Ministry of Women Children and people with disabilities to investigate and act against this patriarchal and misogynistic conduct of the provincial legislature.

Last year, the DA appointed the Speaker of the provincial legislature is alleged to have made sexist and racist comments against Black women working in the legislature and no action was taken against him.

The union finds it disturbing that in a society where there are high levels of violence against women and children the DA has shown a very consistent and high level of tolerance for all kinds of women harassment. We are told that there will be no investigation by the provincial government or by the MEC's political party, the DA into the matter whilst the MEC is absent from duty with full pay.

The Western Cape is a crime ridden province and we will not allow service delivery in this department to be compromised by the misconduct of individuals or internal political processes of the DA led provincial government.

The provincial government must therefore initiate its own independent investigation into the state of affairs in the department in relation to the MEC's conduct and we call on him to do the honourable thing and resign.

We demand that workers be briefed about the decision of suspending the MEC with full pay and also want assurances that the internal politics of the DA will not impact on the decision making processes of the provincial government.

NEHAWU objects to the Premier's hypocritical strategy of turning a blind eye to these scandals instead of solving them. She is instead obsessed with centralising everything to her office. We reject the notion that the Premier will run the Department of Community Safety, the Province and the DA nationally. We insist on a replacement at this stage.

Statement issued by Sizwe Pamla, NEHAWU media liaison officer, February 16 2010

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