Tebogo Pooe, a boss at Revolutionary Radio, received a sexual harassment complaint from a member of staff his approach was opposite to what one would find in corporate South Africa.
Instead of sweeping the matter under the carpet or subjecting the complaint to in-house discreetness, he did something that was hardly ever done which was to ask the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) to investigate.
The Commission of Gender Equality was also surprised about Tebogo Pooe’s approach to the situation, considering it is not the norm and the private sector’s usually solve such situations themselves or they cover it up.
Tebogo Pooe stated that what urged him to contact the CGE is that he felt that perpetrators are protected and that made him feel as though he is protecting people who are doing wrong.
He also went on to say that when people accuse the company of sexual harassment and they also go onto say that perpetrators are protected, it implicates him.
Therefore he decided to go to the CGE to report and ask them to investigate from leadership to all staff.
Mamohapi Diseko, the CGE’s legal officer for the North West Provincial Office, confirmed that they would look into the complaint and asked for assistance in interviewing members of the team who may appear before the CGE.
He is keen to make sure that the highest standards are held by himself and staff members.
He also stated that the organisation was confused at first, asking if he was the one complaining because it rarely happens that the bosses send a complaint about their own company.
The commission confirmed that the complaint falls within its mandate and this is when Tebogo Pooe informed the staff.
Some of the female staff called him saying that they did not know anything about the claims and he told them to wait for the investigation and that it was not proper for them to discuss the matter before the investigation.
Some individuals also tried to come clean to the Human Resources department but Tebogo Pooe stated to them that he did not want them to do that and they should wait for the investigation so that it is a fair process.
Tebogo Pooe stated that he was also going to go through the same investigation in order to get the message across and for people to have mutual respect for each other.
While re-branding and launching the station in October 2019, Tebogo Pooe launched a “Don’t Call Me Bro” initiative driven by young presenters on the station.
The initiative was to promote that anybody who is abusing their partner should not be allowed to call them bro or friend.
They even challenged gender stereotypes on air by saying “Don’t Call Me Bro” if you think whistling at a woman in cool.