FIRST ON EWN: Wits professor found guilty of sexual harassment

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

FILE: Wits University banners in a hall. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Eyewitness News has independently learnt that a senior Wits University professor accused of sexually harassing three of his colleagues at the institution has been found guilty.

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

On Friday, the university received the findings from an external panel of investigators.

After months of investigation into alleged sexual misconduct against the professor, an independent panel appointed by the institution’s gender equity office has found the senior academic guilty.

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

The three women, who work at the institution, approached the university’s gender equity officer late last year and formally lodged a complaint of sexual harassment.

The complainants accused the professor of using his position and influence to try and persuade them to partake in sexual activities with him and one other person.

They alleged that he made advances, promising to promote them at work and even help them study further through the institution.

Wits University is expected this week to decide on the appropriate sanction against the professor.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)