- Male supervisors allegedly make sexual advances on females in return for promotion
- Says most cases go unreported for fear of losing jobs
- Botswana Security Association non-committal
Sexual harassment is rampant in the private security sector where it is largely unreported for fear of losing jobs by female employees, the Security Officers Association Botswana (SOAB) has said.
According to the President of SOAB, Batanani Morapelo, who doubles as a member of the Private Security Licensing Board (PSLB), the failure to report cases of sexual harassment is itself a problem.
“I want to confirm that there is lot of sexual harassment mostly by Deployment Supervisors and Managers. In most case these people use their positions to solicit sexual favours from female security guards.
“They make sexual advances promising promotion. However, for fear of losing their jobs, some heed these advances,” he said, adding that the situation is made worse by the notoriety of the sector for late payment or failure to pay employees.
In addition to making sexual advances on their female colleagues, Morapelo accused senior officers of using threats to instil fear in their juniors.
Threatened and suborned
“They are threatened and suborned to do something that violates the Employment Act” he asserted. “Afraid of losing their jobs, the juniors officers end up doing as told.”
Morapelo expressed concern that security officers are reluctant to join SOAB when joining is the only way that the organisation can investigate cases of sexual harassment and other issues.
“Security officers should join the association freely in large numbers for their own benefit,” he said.
Reached for comment, the Chairman of Botswana Security Association (BSA), Grembo Kealotswe, became no-committal. “Sometimes female employees use it when they are on the wrong side of things,” he said. “They do this to shift the focus sexual harassment is a sensitive matter.”