Ackerman called in to resolve Bishop’s abuse row

2014-06-15 11:20
Raymond Ackerman (Taryn Carr, Die Burger)

Raymond Ackerman (Taryn Carr, Die Burger)

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Cape Town - Business tycoon Raymond Ackerman has been approached to help resolve a sex abuse crisis at Cape Town’s prestigious Diocesan College - more commonly known as Bishop’s.

According to the Sunday Times, Ackerman, a former pupil and president of the Old Diocesan Union, was asked to step in to sort out allegations of boy-on-boy sexual abuse and that of inappropriate behaviour by a senior teacher.

However, despite his best efforts, the newspaper reports that allegations continue to mount amid calls for a private investigation. A group of former pupils also claim Ackerman’s efforts are being derailed by Mike Bosman, the chairperson of the school council.

The group claims that Bosman sent a letter to a former teacher, Tim Hamilton-Smith, pressuring him to resign as secretary of the old boys’ union.

This move is believed to have been an attempt to placate a former student who went to Hamilton-Smith for help after being sexually abused by an older pupil more than 30 years ago. Hamilton-Smith is accused of allegedly ignoring the plea for help.

It emerged late last month that the school has been embroiled in a sex-abuse cover up scandal - involving two separate incidents - that goes back two decades.

The first involved a former pupil who was allegedly sexually abused by a fellow pupil in 2012, while the second involved a teacher and a Grade 11 pupil in 1990.

Bishop’s, however, promotes itself as an independent boys’ school with a long history, a strong academic ethos combined with a commitment to all-roundedness, and a proud record of achievements.

On its website it states it is a high achieving school in all areas - academically, on the sports fields, and in a wide variety of social and cultural activities.

Bishop’s old boys include well known and highly successful businessmen and sportsmen - among those included are Ackerman, entrepreneur and astronaut Mark Shuttleworth, cricketer Herschelle Gibbs and professor of exercise and sports science Tim Noakes from the University of Cape Town.
- News24
Read more on:    cape town  |  child abuse
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