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.
Read more on:    cape town  |  child abuse

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