Bishops old boys' nasty leadership battle resolved

2019-08-02 16:34
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A nasty leadership battle was avoided at upmarket private school Bishops College in Cape Town on Thursday, as two factions of Old Boys warring over leadership posts at the prestigious Old Diocesans Union reached a reconciliatory conclusion.

Vice-Chairman of the ODU, Anton Taylor confirmed the resolution on Friday, saying a statement on the matter would be released later.

Taylor himself had taken to social media earlier this week to claim how his administration had been "bullied and harassed" in an attempted takeover of his committee's administration from a group of old boys calling themselves WP10.

This seemingly threatened the union's functioning, which handles substantial amounts of money in how it distributes scholarships and programmes at the prestigious school.

At the heart of WP10’s formation, according to Taylor, is their unhappiness over what they call the unfair removal of ODU executive manager WP van Zyl.

A motion of no-confidence in Taylor’s committee was called as a result as part of a special general meeting agenda on Thursday. 

A representative from the WP10 group was quoted by TimesLIVE saying, "[WP van Zyl] was cast aside like an unwanted rag", which seemed to raise the ire of the group.

"In the past months a small cabal of ODs calling themselves 'the WP10' have moved to remove our committee," Taylor wrote on Facebook.

"Should the motion pass, the entire committee, our patron, and our staff, will depart and the union will completely collapse."

'Destroy chairman'

Taylor said the recent passing of his mother did not deter the WP10 from employing "appalling" tactics, to which he said he had evidence.

"On one single evening I received almost 200 messages, in which I had to read how my chairman would be 'destroyed'. There have also been repeated threats to dig into committee members’ personal lives and expose any embarrassing discoveries."

"Two days after my mother’s passing, WP10 members, aware of my tragedy, included me in a harassing and unnecessary email. I answered their mail, and asked that I be left to grieve. They did not leave me. They continued."

Taylor had previously charged that he had been ordered, by WP10 to "remove the incredibly dedicated chairman of a pro-bono committee without process or evidence, purely because a small group of men said so".

He called for past Bishops alum to attend the SGM in their numbers to support him and his committee, which garnered a lots of support on social media.

'Appalling'

"My committee and I have not accepted this… They have employed what I can only describe as the most appalling programme of harassment, disingenuity, and abuse I have ever had the misfortune of experiencing," Taylor charged.

News24 understands that some of Taylor's claims were challenged as "lies" on Thursday evening, to applause from some sections of the SGM.

Before the motion could be tabled, it emerged that such an outcome could be avoided if the two factions accepted reconciliatory terms.

Taylor confirmed to News24 that "the motion of no confidence was withdrawn and there was a resolution put in place towards reconciliation".

Part of the terms agreed on by both parties is that the incumbent union will remain; a sub-committee with members decided upon from both sides will be formed to focus on reconciliation.

A representative of the WP10 had told TimesLive that the matter was an internal one, so they wouldn't be commenting.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  schools
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