Independent Investigation Finds Harassment Allegations “Unfounded”

PRESS STATEMENT: Independent Investigation Finds Harassment Allegations “Unfounded”

27 May 2019

Following allegations of harassment against its Director, the Board of BDS South Africa appointed Advocate Smanga Sethene from the Johannesburg Bar to investigate the said allegations.

The Board of BDS SA was provided with the finding of the investigation this weekend which cleared Desai of sexual harassment.

The investigation found that:

“… there is no rational basis in law to take any disciplinary action against Mr Desai. The allegations against Mr Desai premised on all the statements of the complainants, their witness and Mr Jeenah’s interview cannot be sustained and are unfounded.”

The report was critical of the Board of BDS SA for the delay in pursuing the matter.

Following the investigation’s outcome, we have shared the outcome of the report with the complainants.

The Board has, throughout this process, reflected – and continues to reflect – on our internal process of consultation and ways of deepening our commitment to our values in the struggle to create a more just and humane world.  This includes reflecting on our own conduct and inadequacies (in the work place and beyond).

We thank members of the public, our partner organizations and our supporters for providing us with the space to sensitively, thoroughly and fairly investigate this matter with full consideration for all moral and legal obligations.

In the interest of transparency and full accountability, the we will also be publishing the report on the website of BDS SA