'Forced to accuse boss'

CLEAN: Anderson Mudunungu. Pic. Alex Matlala. 05/09/2007. © Sowetan.
CLEAN: Anderson Mudunungu. Pic. Alex Matlala. 05/09/2007. © Sowetan.

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The acting manager of BaPhalaborwa Municipality in Limpopo, Anderson Mudunungu, has been cleared of sexual harassment charges.

Mudunungu was cleared after a workers' union, together with the municipality's disciplinary committee, dismissed the allegations.

He was suspended after his secretary, Emmerentia Venter, 29, had reported to the municipal workers' trade union Imatu that Mudunungu had pressed her against a wall and kissed her without her consent on Valentine's Day.

His clearance comes after Venter told both the union and the disciplinary committee that she was coerced by other people to fabricate the story against her boss.

Venter allegedly made a sworn statement claiming Mudunungu had sexually harassed her .

She said Mudunungu had hugged her and pressed his genitals against her and then kissed her against her will.

Mudunungu, who has been acting municipal manager since December last year, has been described as one of the best managers the municipality has had.

The majority of the municipal staff Sowetan spoke to praised Mudunungu, saying "managers like him were few and difficult to find".

Edmond Mbetse, a spokesman for unemployed youth in Phal aborwa, said: "The BaPhala- borwa Municipality has never had more respect for a manager than it has for Mudunungu.

"What is more important is that he always does his work with precision and distinction."

Mudunungu told Sowetan yesterday: "I am relieved that I can now go on with my life."

He said the past six months had been the toughest for his family.

BaPhalaborwa Municipality mayor Gloria Valoyi confirmed the withdrawal of the charges.