Equal Education’s call for Doron Isaacs’ suspension after harassment allegations

Isaacs is the co-founder and treasurer of the organisation. He sits on the National Council. (David Harrison/M&G)

Isaacs is the co-founder and treasurer of the organisation. He sits on the National Council. (David Harrison/M&G)

Equal Education’s management have requested that Doron Isaacs, who is facing multiple sexual harassment allegations, be suspended. They have also requested that an independent investigation into his conduct is established, claiming that a previous investigation into his conduct was not independent.

The request was made in a letter sent to the civil society organisation’s National Council on Thursday evening. The full text of the letter is republished below.

READ MORE: NGO’s sexual harassment woes grow

Isaacs is the co-founder and treasurer of the organisation. He sits on the National Council.

The letter comes after the Mail & Guardian began investigating allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation by Isaacs, the former head of the organisation.

Other people within the organisation have spoken out against Isaacs on social media.

READ MORE: “Several women” allege sexual harassment against Equal Education boss

On Facebook, a representative from Equal Education’s Daveyton Facilitators also called for an investigation into Isaacs.

Read the letter in full:

Letter to National Council requesting a formal investigation into Treasurer of Equal Education’s National Council

May 17, 2018

Dear Chairperson,

As managers and concerned staff of Equal Education we write to formally report our concerns regarding the allegations circulating about the conduct of Equal Education Treasurer, Doron Isaacs. Through rumours, social media posts and confidential disclosures, we are aware that Doron Isaacs has been accused of sexual harassment and we request as a matter of urgency that the National Council immediately suspends Doron Isaacs and establishes an independent panel to investigate the accusations.

We note that a formal complaint has not yet been made to EE. We are not able to lay a complaint with specific allegations, however we believe that the information circulating in the public and information that has been made available to some of us is enough to warrant the establishment of an investigation. Precisely because we care deeply about the movement and its reputation, we believe that in the current climate it is not an option for such rumours to be left until NC receives a formal complaint.

We are aware of the 2011 investigation into Doron Isaacs, but have serious concerns about how it was conducted. We do not believe that the panel that investigated him was independent. We believe it ought to have been. We also have been made aware of allegations that Doron Isaacs was involved in intimidating potential witnesses and by extension complainants. We believe that this needs to be investigated and people held accountable if the process of eradicating sexual harassment and abuse of power of any kind within the movement is to continue.

We also ask that co-opted National Council member Michelle Adler not be part of any subsequent processes which consider the investigation, due to her role as panel member in the 2011 investigation into Doron.

We hope that this letter is taken in the spirit in which it is intended. Our primary concerns have always been to protect women who are members of Equal Education and are on the staff body; maintain the integrity of the movement in this challenging time and contribute towards dismantling the status quo around the prevalence of sexual violence and harassment in this country.

Sincerely,

Yoni Bass (Chief Financial Officer), Ntsiki Dlulani (Deputy Head of the Western Cape), Leanne Jansen-Thomas (Interim National Coordinator), Minhaj Jeenah (Head of Internal Education and Training Unit), Noncedo Madubedube (Head of the Western Cape), Roné McFarlane (Co-head of Research), Ayesha Meer (Head of Gauteng), Ntshadi Mofokeng (Chief Operations Officer), Sisesakhe Ntlabezo (Chief of Staff), Nishal Robb (National Training and Organising Coordinator), Amanda Rinquest (Co-head of the Eastern Cape), Hopolang Selebalo (Co-head of Research), Kholwani Simelane (Deputy Head of Gauteng)

Client Media Releases

Tender awarded for SA's longest cable-stayed bridge
MTN backs SA's youth to 'think tech, do business'
Being intelligent about business data
PhD for 79-year-old theology graduate