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Former Wits SRC President Mcebo Dlamini. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Hiring of 'sex-pest' advisor backfires

By unknown | Dec 05, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

The decision by Limpopo premier Sello Moloto a month ago to employ Norman Mashabane, the former South African ambassador to Indonesia, as his political advisor has come back to haunt him.

When Moloto, pictured below, appointed Mashabane, there was a pending appeal by the Public Servants Association against a decision by Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to clear the former diplomat of sexual harassment charges.

On Friday the Pretoria high court set aside Dlamini-Zuma's decision.

In 2001 six Indonesian woman laid charges of sexual harassment against Mashabane.

The charges included stroking the buttocks of an employee, molesting a staff member in a lift and making suggestive motions with his tongue. Mashabane was found guilty during an internal hearing. He then appealed against the verdict.

In 2003 Lara Swart, a Foreign Affairs employee, laid another sexual harassment charge against him. He was again found guilty but once again appealed.

Mashabane walked free in 2004 after Dlamini-Zuma upheld his appeal against the several charges.

Meanwhile Mashabane continued to work for Foreign Affairs until his contract expired at the end of 2004.

He was unemployed until Moloto threw him a lifeline by handing him the R500000-a-year advisor position.

Moloto's appointment of Mashabane was clearly a political risk - though the possibility of arm-twisting by the former envoy's powerful allies cannot be discounted.


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