Pearl Modiadie’s R3.5 million sexual harassment lawsuit against her former boss and Metro FM station manager Anthony Soglo will be heard at the Johannesburg High Court on May 16. This is where the SABC will apply to have the matter removed from the roll through an exception application.
An exception application objects to the summons on the basis that the allegations are vague and embarrassing or lack the necessary allegation to disclose a cause of action or defence.
The contentious matter, which has been unfolding in the court since September, will be heard after the heads of arguments are filed by legal representatives of both the former Metro FM midday show presenter and the SABC.
City Press has previously reported that Modiadie brought the claim to the same court, accusing Soglo of making inappropriate sexual overtones in an email that was addressed to her in November 2019.
She also sought to hold the SABC vicariously liable for the incident by citing that the public broadcaster failed to implement its sexual harassment policy framework when the matter was reported internally.
Modiadie argued in the court papers that Soglo was acting in his scope as an employee of the SABC when he allegedly wrote an email that read:
The email thread was about a booking arrangement for her appearance in Bloemfontein.
The 34-year-old said in her papers that the email violated her rights and portrayed her in a negative light towards her colleagues.
By authoring and sending the email, the second defendant (Anthony Soglo) conducted himself in a manner, which led the plaintiff (Pearl Modiadie) to feel sexually offended, dehumanised, degraded, embarrassed, ashamed and publicly humiliated, and lowered her esteem.“By the contents of the email, Soglo intended and/or deliberately meant to convey to the public about Modiadie that she is available on call for sex provided time for her to be available is properly arranged by her pimp (Tumza),” read her papers.
SABC group executive for corporate affairs Gugu Ntuli said the matter is under way.
The SABC previously submitted that the matter was irregularly brought to the high court as opposed to a suitable forum, which is the labour court.
“As such, the plaintiff is in the wrong forum as the complaint should have been referred to the CCMA, following an unsuccessful internal grievance procedure. In this circumstance, the plaintiff’s claim, as against the first defendant, stands to be dismissed with costs,” said the SABC.
The public broadcaster further argued that Modiadie failed to make a case of vicarious liability.
By Modiadie’s own admission of the particulars of claim, Soglo (is) ‘aware that the email content was not relating to a work-related official event’… as such, the plaintiff has not made out a case for vicarious liability and her claim, as against the first respondent, stands to be dismissed with costs.