Bono has issued an apology, after it was claimed that workers at the charity he co-founded were subject to bullying and abuse.
The 57-year-old has revealed that he was left “furious” after the allegations surfaced last November, and he admitted that the ONE charity failed to protect some employees at it’s Johannesburg office in South Africa.
When contacted by the Mail on Sunday, Bono said, “I need to take some responsibility for that. 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.”
The U2 star added, “In fact, if they would agree, I would like to meet them and apologise in person.”
Bono’s apology comes after the paper detailed some of the shocking allegations, including one claim from a woman who says she was demoted after refusing to have sex with a Tanzanian MP.
According to Gayle Smith, ONE’s chief executive officer, an investigation found evidence of “unprofessional conduct” and “bullying and belittling of staff” between late 2011 and 2015.
In a statement, she said, “Staff were called names, and some said their manager put them to work on domestic tasks in her home.”
“The investigation also found the situation was not adequately addressed nor resolved by executive management at the time, and that ONE’s board was not, in my view, properly or fully informed.”
“We do not discount any allegation – we investigate them and will continue to do so should others arise.”
A number of former employees have now launched legal action against the charity, which is a campaigning and advocacy organisation of more than 9 million people around the world taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.