Sex coercion claim

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

A senior official at Barberton maximum security prison in Mpumalanga has been suspended over alleged sexual harassment.

The official allegedly fondled a junior colleague's breasts and genitals and tried to kiss her.

The official, Chris Hlatshwayo, has confirmed that he has received a letter of suspension, but refused to give any further information.

"I'm still expected to give a statement to the people who are investigating the allegations against me," Hlatshwayo said.

"I am therefore not at liberty to go into the merits of the case."

Hlatshwayo has also been accused by most of his disgruntled junior colleagues of ruling them with an iron fist.

They nicknamed him "Umshanyelo" (broom) for allegedly threatening to "sweep them away" (dismiss) if they did not follow orders.

Hlatshwayo allegedly lured the married woman into his office and made inappropriate advances to her.

She allegedly bolted from the office and phoned her husband, who told her to report the matter to her superiors.

She told some line managers about the alleged incident. Sowetan has learnt that some of them, who are said to be close associates of Hlatshwayo, tried to sweep the matter under the carpet.

But other officials who were "tired" of Hlatshwayo's management style decided to expose him.

Sarie Peens, a spokesman for the Department of Correctional Services, has confirmed Hlatshwayo's suspension.

"I can confirm that the department is investigating the matter and that the member has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigations," Peens said.