Wits dismisses professor found guilty of sexual misconduct

Wits University. Picture: Steven Tau

Wits University. Picture: Steven Tau

The professor was found guilty after three women laid complaints of sexual harassment against him.

A professor at the University of Witwatersrand accused of sexually harassing colleagues at the institution has been found guilty and dismissed on Wednesday, Vice-Chancellor and Principal Adam Habib said.

Three women laid complaints against the academic with the institution’s Gender Equity Office (GEO) last year, which subsequently investigated the case, he said.

“An independent investigation was undertaken and the staff member was found guilty of misconduct on the grounds of sexual harassment in respect of three complainants,” Habib said in a statement.

“The independent panel further found the misconduct to be a dismissible offence, and the outcome was presented to me today [Wednesday]. In line with the university’s policies and processes, I have informed the individual concerned that he has been dismissed.”

The professor reportedly committed the offences over a period of time. He allegedly pressured the three women for sexual favours in exchange for his influence and seniority at the institution.

Habib said the university’s gender office was established five years ago to deal with sexual harassment complaints.

“The university does not tolerate any form of GBH and as a public institution we are determined to eliminate gender-based harm. Again, I would like to make it very clear that the university will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment. We have revised our policies, instituted several programmes and conscientised the university community to speak out and act against gender-based harm.”

– African News Agency

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