After a 10-month disciplinary hearing Sanparks CEO, Mr Fundisile Mketeni has been found guilty on 6 charges brought against him and dismissed.
This follows an incident in May 2021, when a young woman was assaulted for allegedly refusing Mr Mketeni’s advances. It is alleged that Mr Mketeni was joined by two colleagues who also participated in the assault.
Sanparks appointed independent lawyers to conduct the internal disciplinary hearing. The Labour Appeal Court makes it clear that sexual harassment is a scourge in the workplace and that employers have a duty to make the workplace safe.
Mr Mketeni was found guilty of sexual harassment, assault, abusive language, a failure to report someone missing in dangerous circumstances and a failure to report the incident to his superiors timeously.
In their findings, they further held that Mr Mketeni has embarrassed and damaged the name of Sanparks, both in the media and with its stakeholders.
Furthermore, they concluded that the relationship of trust between the Employer and Employee has been broken and that summary dismissal was the appropriate sanction.
Dealing with GBV in the workplace takes very long and this process needs to be streamlined to ensure that it becomes much more expedient.
The two colleagues alleged to have participated in the assault are awaiting the outcome of their disciplinary processes.
It is about time that men in high positions be held accountable and that they assist to root out the disease of GBV. Women are not their subjects – they are equal to men and should be respected as such.
The DA condemns the behaviour of Mr Mketeni and congratulates Sanparks on dealing with the very serious issue of GBV in the workplace. The DA will never condone GBV under any circumstances and reiterates its call for perpetrators to be held accountable.
The DA would like to commend the young woman in this case for standing up and not giving up. She is a role model and a beacon of hope in the sea of GBV.