MultiChoice has launched a “full-scale investigation” after claims emerged this week that a female employee had been raped by colleagues in 2014.
The company said it noted “with grave concern very serious allegations” made on social media after a hashtag started circulating along with the name of the victim and that of one of the alleged rapists.
In a statement, MultiChoice said the incident occurred in 2014 and that a case had been opened with the police, which resulted in the conviction of one of the accused.
“The company has provided this employee with support since this traumatic incident and will continue to do so,” said a company representative who did not wish to be identified.
“The accused staff member identified on social media denies the allegations.”
The company was criticised on social media, where the #OccupyMultiChoice hashtag has been doing the rounds, for not having done enough to protect the victim.
The representative said the company was aware of the planned protest and would make sure there are appropriate security measures in place.
Allegations being taken ‘seriously’
“This employee reported an incident to us in 2014 in which she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted. No allegation of the involvement of co-employees was made at that time.
“We’ve recently learned of these further allegations involving our employees, which is why we’ve launched an immediate and a full-scale investigation to get to the bottom of this matter, as we take these allegations very seriously,” the company said.
It noted with caution that the woman had not laid any criminal charges against the accused staff member.
MultiChoice described the event as “tragic” and said it had provided the employee with support over the past three years.
“This includes helping her find accommodation, getting her counselling, giving her time off to attend the court case, and granting her extended medical leave,” the representative said.
MultiChoice said its general manager for HR reached out to the employee this week to find out if the company could provide further support.
Police were not able to comment without information about where the case was opened or a case number.