My formal complaint with the Commission for Gender Equality against​ SWIFT

18 Mar

Ms.​ Rosie Motene has lodged a formal complaint with the Commission for Gender Equality in February 2018 regarding SWIFT SWIFT – Sisters Working in Film and Television
The complaint was based on the following alleged issues:
– The organisation was established in 2016 and has positioned itself as an aid to assist with curving sexual harassment and helping sexual survivors within the SA film & TV industry. Since its start, SWIFT did not attempt to align itself with a gender-based organisation for consulting and support.
– After the allegation surfaced regarding filmmaker Khalo Matabane, Rosie Motene and their survivors approached the organisation for assistance. Through the board and chairperson, Sara Blecher, they were offered legal assistance and support, which did not surface.
– Ms. Motene has raised concerns on the alleged protection of Ms. Carew against survivors.
– Ms. Motene is concerned with the legal letter issued by​ Ms.​ Carew and SWIFT asking for a round table between herself, SWIFT, NFVF, IPO. A letter which Ms. Motene replied through her lawyer but as not received any reply for the complainant.
Ms. Motene acknowledges the work put in by the government and the organisation on skills development and traveling to film markets around the world but is concerned with the lack of resources and transparency around assisting survivors of abuse and sexual assault. Through the personal and online assistance and correspondence, Ms. Motene and other survivors were not given adequate support​​ and at some point, a survivors concern was dismissed by Sara Blecher by her statement that the survivor is unstable, due to her PTSD. We agree that PTSD is a serious issue but no support was given at that point.
In an interview on Radio 702, the SWIFT spokesperson stated that the had reached out to POWA and Ms. Rosie Motene for assistance. This is untrue as in 2018, it was Ms. Motene who reached out t SWIFT for help, only to find they had no other GBV organisation attached.
As empowered by Section 187 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the CGE Act 39 0f 1996, as amended, Section 11 (1) (e) the Commission shall investigate any gender-related issues of its own accord or receipt of a complaint, and shall endeavour to resolve any dispute or rectify any act or omission by mediation, conciliation or negotiation.
Once the Commission’s investigation is finalised, a report will be released making the findings and recommendations known to the public.
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