Wits professor accused of sexual harassment placed on special leave

The professor, whose identity is known to EWN, is also in a position of influence and authority at Wits.

FILE: Wits University. Picture: joburg.org.za

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News understands that a Wits University professor who’s been accused of sexual harassment by three of his colleagues has been placed on special leave while an investigation is underway.

It’s understood that these incidents have taken place over a period of time and that the professor targeted and sexually harassed two female lecturers and an office administrator.

The professor, whose identity is known to EWN, is also in a position of influence and authority at Wits.

EWN understands that the senior professor was told of the charges against him by the university’s Gender Equity Office in September last year, followed by a hearing that was held where he opted to take voluntary leave instead of being suspended.

He was then given five days to respond to the claims against him should he wish to do so.

The three women claim that the Wits University professor offered to help them further their studies, get a promotion and help them at work with special favours but only if they agreed to partake in sexual activities with him and one other person.

They claim the professor would constantly ask them out on dinner dates disguised as work.

The progress report on the outcome of the probe will be handed over to the institution on Friday.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)