International anti-corruption charity , ONE Campaign, is involved in an extensive bullying scandal located in the organisation’s Johannesburg wing.
The charity is currently being threatened with legal action by former staff members, who say that they have been subjected to ridicule and belittling behaviour for years.
“We are all deeply sorry. I hate bullying, can’t stand it. The poorest people in the poorest places being bullied by their circumstance is the reason we set up ONE. So to discover last November that there were serious and multiple allegations of bullying in our office in Johannesburg left me and the ONE board reeling and furious. You question the whole reason you’re doing this,” said Bono, award-winning musician and co-founder.
He added: “My team and I heard concerns about low morale and poor management in this office but nothing along the lines of what emerged recently. I was assured that those concerns were being dealt with – clearly, they were not.”
In addition to the bullying, Birrell’s investigation claims that the ONE Campaign did not pay taxes in South Africa – despite campaigning strongly against tax evasion and that foreign staff was employed on tourist visas.
The ONE Campaign was set up in 2004. It is a campaigning and advocacy organisation that uses the power of celebrity – aside from Bono, high-profile supporters include Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, and George Clooney – to fight poverty and corruption.