Professor of Political Studies, Rupert Taylor, was escorted off campus by security on Tuesday after he was placed on special leave following allegations of sexual harassment.
Director of Campus Control, Robert Kemp, said Campus Security was called by Elaine Milton, head of employee relations, and given the instruction to remove Taylor from campus.
Taylor contacted Wits Vuvuzela via email on Wednesday to give a statement: “I am deeply upset and concerned about the damaging allegations that have been published against me in Vuvuzela and elsewhere, on and beyond Wits campus.
“I regard these allegations of sexual harassment against me as devoid of any truth and defamatory.
“The false allegations have resulted in very serious damage to my dignity and reputation. I am taking legal advice on my possible recourse in this regard.”
Shireen Hassim, professor of politics, was present when Taylor was escorted out of his office, to his car by security. She said that Taylor had initially declined to be removed but, when security was called, he complied. “It was not conflictual. He was very dignified,” Hassim said.
Prof Daryl Glaser, head of the politics department, said: “I can confirm that Prof Taylor is on leave, and that arrangements have been made to ensure continuity in teaching and supervision.”
Questions were raised about Taylor following a Wits Vuvuzela report published last year. Many suspected the article was about Taylor, as he was not named at the time. The allegations against Taylor arose again after a senior drama lecturer, Tsepo Wa Mamatu, was accused of sexual harassment and rape in the Sunday Times earlier this year.
Wits Vuvuzela reported in March that Dikeledi Selowa, former politics first year class representative, said there had been talk among the students about Taylor. “We knew of his history and some students were warned about him.”
Glaser confirmed that “investigations into sexual harassment claims are still ongoing”