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In the case of Maepe vs Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration & another (CLL Vol 17 June 2008) a senior commissioner at the CCMA was brought to a disciplinary hearing on charges of sexual harassment and improper or disgraceful conduct. A CCMA receptionist had accused the senior commissioner of having professed his love for her, blown her kisses and told her that he clutched her photo to his chest.

The disciplinary hearing was chaired by another senior commissioner who dismissed the accused commissioner who then referred an unfair dismissal dispute to the CCMA. The arbitrator found that the employee’s conduct did not constitute sexual harassment because the receptionist had not indicated that the employee’s advances towards her were unwelcome and because the employee might not have realised that his actions were unwelcome. While the arbitrator found that the employee was guilty of making inappropriate sexual advances he replaced the dismissal with a final warni...

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