Bono apologises after shocking claims of abuse at his charity


U2 frontman Bono has issued an apology following allegations of bullying and abuse at his charity. File picture: JULIEN DE ROSA/EPA

Musician and humanitarian Bono has issued an apology after the Mail on Sunday published a shocking catalogue of bullying allegations against senior staff members at his charity ONE.

Read the apology here:

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.

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.

I’m thankful that Gayle Smith, ONE’s new chief executive (former US Agency for International Development boss), has taken swift and decisive action to address what had gone badly wrong. Although the bullying allegations centre on an individual (an accomplished female executive formerly of the African Development Bank and the World Bank), the head office failed to protect those employees and I need to take some responsibility for that.

In fact, if they would agree, I would like to meet them and apologise in person.

While ONE isn’t funded by governments or the public, we should still uphold the highest standards the public would expect.

Read: Bono charity faces lawsuit over ‘toxic’ culture of bullying and abuse


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