Women Who Testified in the Equal Education Enquiry on Sexual Harassment Speak
We are some of the 19 women who submitted our confidential testimonies to the Equal Education enquiry on Sexual Harassment. We read Judge Satchwell’s report with densely felt disappointment. We had hoped, that based on the promises of the new leadership of Equal Education, and the moment we live in today, that this time around our stories would be heard. Our stories are all different, but together they paint a coherent and strongly corroborated picture of a pattern of behaviour at Equal Education: Sexual harassment, intimidation, bullying, cover-ups, and threats. While we draw strength from the #MeToo movement, we are acutely aware of the failures of formal legal processes and inquiries to side with women against powerful, protected men.
Justice for the families of the CTCHC housing scheme
Women have historically been disproportionately and negatively impacted by a lack of access to adequate housing, and evictions. There exists an ongoing discrimination faced by women in respect of access to land, housing, tenure security, and ownership; which also operates when women attempt to access social housing schemes. The Women’s Legal Centre (‘WLC’) therefore welcomes the unanimous decision of the Constitutional Court in the matter of Amardien and 12 Others v Registrar of Deeds and 4 Others (Case CCT 212/17), which was handed down on 28 November 2018. The decision sets aside and replaces the order of the High Court which upheld the cancellation of instalment sale agreements between CTCHC and the Applicants, and the sale of their homes. Had the matter not come before the Constitutional Court, the High Court decision would have opened the Applicants, along with their families, up to eviction and the loss of their homes.
Satchwell Report in Equal Education Inquiry disregards sexual harassment complainants:
In August 2018 the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) received instructions on behalf of numerous women to provide them with advice and to represent them before an Inquiry established by Equal Education (EE) to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and similar misconduct by Doron Isaacs (Isaacs) during his tenure at EE. The Terms of Reference also instructed the Panel to review a previous investigation against Isaacs for sexual harassment in 2011 and to look into allegations of silencing and intimidation of complaints against Isaacs. The Panel was further tasked with investigating allegations contained in the Mail and Guardian against Isaacs and Zackie Achmat (Achmat).