Johannesburg - The acting national head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata, has demanded an apology from a newspaper for publishing a story about a Hawks official involved in a "sex scandal".
The Saturday Dispatch in East London published an article on July 15, with the headline "Hawks boss in sex scandal".
According to the newspaper, Eastern Cape Hawks head Major General Nyameko Nogwanya was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal, after two senior staff members in the elite crime fighting unit accused him of sexually harassing them.
The two senior members had filed sexual harassment complaints against their 48-year-old boss, the paper reported.
The Hawks said in a statement on Sunday that the article has embarrassed the organisation and attempted to humiliate and damage the integrity of the two alleged sexual harassment victims.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the victims’ identities had been carelessly splashed across the newspaper without their consent.
He said it had undermined their right to privacy, their personal safety, and had endeavoured to misdirect the internal investigation which had already started.
Matakata said the media should take ownership of their responsibility while dealing with such sensitive cases.
"Most victims undergo enormous mental and emotional burden. The insensitivity by the media while reporting their case can damage the state of the victim," Matakata said.
Matakata said that opinions and views raised in the article didn’t represent the principles of the Hawks.
"The way the report was constructed has indirectly attributed blame. The Daily Dispatch must apologise to the victims for humiliating and putting their personal safety at risk," she said.