Third Wits lecturer fired

Wits says the move shows sexual harassment will not be tolerated at the university.

Wits University. Picture: joburg.org.za

JOHANNESBURG - A third lecturer found guilty of sexually harassing students has been fired, the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) confirmed on Thursday.

The institution said the move shows such behaviour will not be tolerated at the university.

The lecturer's name is being withheld in case of any further legal action.

Wits says it has adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward the problem and hopes the swift action sets a clear example.

Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel says they are doing everything in their power to handle the problem.

"Our policies have been revamped; our structures are being relooked at. It's really a matter that we are dealing with vigorously and robustly."

Two other academics were dismissed at the end of July and a fourth case is before the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

The university has made public a report into sexual harassment on campus and has formed a special task team to deal with the problem.

Wits Vice-Chancellor Adam Habib on Wednesday welcomed the report.

"Clearly the report highlights the inadequacy of our systems around dealing with allegations and rumours, and it highlights our failure to support those that have been the victims of predatory sexual behaviour."

The university commissioned an independent inquiry after an increase in the number of reports of harassment by lecturers.

Last week, Habib apologised to all students and staff members who have been affected by acts of sexual harassment on campus.