School counsellor back in court over alleged abuse

2016-07-18 11:34
Child abuse. (iStock)

Child abuse. (iStock)

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Pietermaritzburg - The man accused of the rape and sexual abuse of four primary school pupils will be back in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning, when the result of his bail application is expected to be revealed.

His employment as a school counsellor at a prominent Pietermaritzburg primary school has been terminated.

The Witness reported previously that the man faces two charges of rape and two of sexual assault.

The counsellor had said in an affidavit he had excelled academically and as a sportsman, and that he vehemently denies the allegations against him, which he regards as “malicious and fabricated”.

His affidavit states he obtained six As and was a prefect in matric, received colours for athletics, and “numerous sports and academic awards”.

He is a qualified teacher who graduated from UKZN and has a Master’s degree in psychology.

He was a youth leader at a church, and is a well-known member of the cycling fraternity who also coaches mountain bike and track racing.

The former school counsellor, who cannot be named to protect the identities of the children involved, said he believed he would be able to demonstrate at his trial that he had been falsely accused, and that there was “no substance to any allegations against me”.

The former counsellor said he had counselled the children concerned in his professional capacity, and after they were referred to him by teachers.

In his affidavit opposing bail, investigating officer Neil Sivenarain said the former counsellor should not get bail because the evidence against him showed a “consistent pattern”.

He said the victims all knew the man and named him as the perpetrator. Supporting their statements were psychologists’ reports and medical evidence.

Sivenarain said he feared for the safety of the witnesses if the man was granted bail, and that he would interfere with them and the investigation.

A statement from the KZN education department yesterday said MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana would attend today’s hearing “in support of pupils”.

• newsed@witness.co.za

A Facebook page has surfaced which aims to raise funds for parents of the victims.

On the page, administrators have written, “Pietermaritzburg has been rocked to the core by the recent arrest of a well known teacher in the area. This man is accused of sexually assaulting a number of little boys whose care he was entrusted with. The children involved are between 4 and 12 years old. Investigations are still under way, and we fear more cases will be opened.

“...The reality is only starting to sink in now.

A group of us have come together to try and assist the parents by raising funds that are now urgently needed. These little boys will be placed in other schools for the next school term, attend intensive psychological treatment, and in some cases, have to undergo surgery to repair the damage that has been caused. As you can imagine, the costs involved are monumental - no one simply budgets for this type of thing.

“We aim to unite the community of Pietermaritzburg in assisting these children in receiving the help they desperately need at this very sad time.

“Nedbank has assisted by creating a Fund Raising account. We will post the details of this account as soon as it is running.”

The administrators are appealing to businesses, organisations and private individuals to come forward and offer financial support.

Commenting on the page, Joey Kilian wrote, “To every child parent and family members affected by this, my heart goes out to every single one of you. This is a very trying time for everyone. All I can say is you are all in my thoughts. Lots of hugs and love.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  sexual abuse

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