BCM suspends top official in wake of sex scandal
A senior Buffalo City Metro manager has been suspended for allegedly making sexual advances towards one of the subordinates in his office.
The manager, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the complainant, was served with a letter of suspension on May 3 by BCM city manager Andile Sihlahla.
The manager allegedly promised to promote the junior staffer if she agreed to have an intimate relationship with him. And when his advances were turned down, he threatened to get the woman – who was going through a divorce – fired or make life miserable for her at work, according to her affidavit.
According to Sihlahla’s letter, which the Daily Dispatch has seen, the man is said to have called the woman into his office and instructed her to close the door before inappropriately touching her.
“Between June and September 2018 you made sexual advances towards your subordinate by calling her in your office, instructing her to close the door of the office and asking her to change a position from standing in front of your desk to standing next to you and began to rub your hand on her bum,” Sihlahla wrote.
“On or about September 2018 you promised her with promotion to a position of senior administrative clerk if she agrees to be with you or be in an intimate relationship with you…you harassed her with an unwelcome statement that you want to have an intimate relationship with her and when she refused, you threatened her.”
The man is barred from entering any municipal premises or making contact with any person who may be called as a witness in the case.
He is also not allowed to leave the boundaries of BCM without Sihlahla’s approval.
“The employer is of the opinion that it would be detrimental to its interest if you remain in active service as these allegations are very serious in nature and are posing a real threat to a trust relationship.
“Further, the employer has to deter any possible repetition of dishonest conduct while a disciplinary hearing is pending against you.”
According to the complainant’s affidavit, which the Dispatch has seen, her ordeal began in June last year.
“My senior manager noticed that I was displaying emotional symptoms and he enquired on my state of being. I informed him that I was having marital difficulties and that I had decided to file for divorce.
“I shared this intimate detail with him so that he would better understand when I required time off for attending to the consequences of the divorce,” she wrote.
When contacted for comment on Friday afternoon the man would only say: “The case was withdrawn by the Duncan Village police due to insufficient evidence.”
Police spokesperson Captain Hazel Mqala said: “It’s a sexual assault which the SPP [senior public prosecutor] suggested that it must be dealt [with] departmentally.”
Mqala and the senior manager then referred further questions to city spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya, who declined to comment.