Johannesburg – A top North West radio personality is embroiled in allegations of intimidation and bullying of a woman colleague and has been dragged onto social media with claims that he is an “untouchable” and “protected” by his employer – the Rustenburg-based You FM.
A Facebook post by former You FM newsreader Itumeleng Kwena raised questions because of close similarities in his missives to what allegedly took place at the station in October regarding the harassment allegations against Pat Cash, although Kwena has denied that the two are linked.
Kwena’s contract with YOU FM ended in September, the same month that the allegations first surfaced at the station.
According to sources, Cash was subjected to a disciplinary hearing but he allegedly stormed out of the sitting, hurling insults at the chairperson and then came back to work a few days later as if nothing had happened.
This is what allegedly forced the complainant to resign because she didn’t want to be put in the same position as before.
The woman involved has refused to comment on the allegations.
Cash also failed to respond to specific questions sent to him. He requested the questions to be sent by email but he still did not respond to the email and referred the paper back to the employer saying this is a labour matter, not a personal matter.
Kwena’s Facebook missive posted this month read: “And to the day I left, a woman was still being victimised by this very same problem and this management that prides itself in women empowerment and boldly speaks against gender-based violence, stands on the sidelines and spectates. Yet another one resigns because the problem continues being the problem. And the problem is not addressed.”
Asked for comment on the allegations that the station was protecting a man accused of bullying and harassing a woman colleague, You FM station manager Thabo Muridili refuted the allegations but confirmed that there was a harassment complaint against Cash.
He said a formal grievance was lodged by a colleague against Cash on August 30, and denied that the station was protecting him and not doing anything regarding claims of harassment.
“The grievance was held through a formal sitting on 9 September chaired by an independent person. Pat Cash was suspended immediately and sat in the disciplinary inquiry on the 28th of October 2022,” he said.
“The allegations are absolutely untrue and baseless, as every employee in the organisation is treated equally and he wouldn’t have been suspended pending a hearing inquiry if the allegations of protection are true.”
Asked why the complainant resigned from her position, Muridili said they would be able to fully understand the situation during her exit interview. He however denied that it was due to the station’s inaction on the matter.
He said the station takes the GBV pandemic very seriously, has been at the forefront of fighting and standing against the scourge and that it is this very organisation that did the unprecedented by “reporting ourselves to the Gender Commission and pleading with them to come and investigate us”.
“In 2020, we received an anonymous complaint about sexual harassment at the station and we investigated it and further invited the Gender Commission to do the investigation.
“They investigated every employee of the organisation to determine if such is happening and the report came back saying there is no such. The station has a GBV campaign that runs 365 days called DON’T CALL ME BROTHER as part of the fight against GBV. As part of our fight against GBV, the station will write to the commission to update them about the recent developments,” he said.
Kwena’s post reads: “I remember asking a gender commission representative who came to give us ‘training on gender issues including sexual harassment at a workplace’ at my previous employer after several complaints of ill-treatment from a particular individual and a protest by some female personalities at the workplace … Trust me when I say, no straight answer was given.”
Initially, Kwena declined to comment on the matter or his post when questions were sent to him.
Following a telephonic conversation, he sent a WhatsApp message asking where the reporter got his numbers and to “please refrain from assuming that I was speaking about the station you mentioned on the call”.