Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) has conducted it's first research survey revealing the extent of rape culture and violence faced by women in the South African entertainment industry.
Three weeks ago City Press reported on another rape allegation that surfaced when Power FM host Aphele Somi shared on Twitter an account of a woman who claims film maker Khalo Matabane raped her after inviting her to his hotel room to look at his work in 2013.
Speaking to Joanne Joseph on the Aftrenoon Drive, about the organisation's research findings ,SWIFT spokesperson Zoe Ramushu says nearly 66 percent of the research participants do not feel safe at work.
The findings were absolutely shocking in the sense that out of our respondents, 66.7% said that they didn't feel comfortable or safe going to their workplaces because of issues of sexual harassment.— Zoe Ramushu, SWIFT spokesperson
80% responded that when they had experienced sexual harassment they feel that they didn't have a platform to report, because the industry is very much a freelance independent contract sort of industry so there isn't a structure you can report to.— Zoe Ramushu, SWIFT spokesperson
25% said that they had been touched unwillingly in a sexual manner.— Zoe Ramushu, SWIFT spokesperson
Meanwhile, actress, Rose Motene has accused SWIFT of protecting Matabane and others.
Motene says while she commends SWIFT for it's skills development and workshops, she believes the organisation has done little to assist sexual assault survivors.
I have addressed on many occasions on a private platform, asking about how they protected Khalo's business partner. We have been ignored.— Rosie Motene, actress
My question to Swift, is that how are you going to tackle sexual harassment when you haven't been transparent in terms of supporting survivors?— Rosie Motene, actress
Ramushu says they have expressed their apologies and explains that when the case against Matabane came about, the organisation was working with volunteers.
It was a volunteer system and so when survivors called in It was extremely difficult fir us. None of us, five or six women who run the organisation, have any legal, social support...we don't have such training and so for us to handle the case was very difficult.— Zoe Ramushu, SWIFT spokesperson
As soon as the Matabane case came forward, a lot of people came running to us and we immediately engaged POWA [People Opposing Women Abuse] because that's what we know they do professionally. Swift made it very clear that none of us have that experience.— Zoe Ramushu, SWIFT spokesperson
Click on the link below to listen to the full conversation and how Motene refutes Ramushu's claims...