Bishops 'sex scandal' investigation almost wrapped up

2019-11-08 12:44
The chapel at Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town.

The chapel at Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town. (Bishops Diocesan College website)

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The report into the investigation into allegations that a Bishops teacher had a relationship with a number of pupils should be available within the next few days, said headmaster Guy Pearson on Friday. 

"This investigation is not yet complete and we cannot make any comments until it has run its course," said Pearson.

"We will issue a media statement once it is concluded. We expect the report to be available in the next few days."

In October, media reports revealed that an academic and sports teacher at Bishops Diocesan College in Rondebosch, Fiona Viotti, had been reported for having a relationship with an 18-year-old pupil.

She resigned and was subsequently placed under medical care.

READ MORE: Former Bishops teacher 'under medical care' as investigation against her continues

Following that, Pearson then acknowledged in a statement that "several boys had been affected" over a number of years.

Netwerk24 reported on Thursday that five males came forward regarding the principal's appeal to anybody else who may allegedly have been affected, to speak out.

The publication reported that of those, two are in matric, one is in Grade 11, and two others have finished school.

It also stated that the school did not want to hand over the names of the pupils to police who approached them for a possible investigation, because the pupils are not underage in terms of South Africa's laws on consensual sex.

Police have been asked about that aspect and if they comment, the story will be updated.

Pearson told News24 by email: "We have cooperated with all the statutory bodies.

"They are satisfied that we are conducting a thorough independent investigation."

Since the allegations surfaced, the school has tried to keep a stiff upper lip by focusing on pupils' achievements in various fields ranging from climbing to public speaking, and celebrating its past pupil, Springbok Francois Louw's contribution to SA bringing the William Webb Ellis trophy home. 

It was also drumming up support for the Vusa Rugby Academy in Langa which nurtures young rugby talent.

Viotti's lawyer William Booth told News24 on Friday that he understands that the school will make a decision based on the investigation, and inform him and his client of the outcome.

Two lawyers were appointed by the school to conduct the investigation and the first pupil affected also has legal representation, but they have indicated that they will not be speaking on the matter.

Booth said that no criminal charges had been laid regarding the matter, but cannot discuss finer details of the investigation. 

He said it would also be up to the school to decide whether to make the results of the investigation public, or not. 

Viotti is still receiving medical care and counselling, and Booth has appointed a forensic company to track down who published intimate videos, some of which were posted repeatedly to a porn site. 

READ: Bishops: Inside the exclusive school rocked by sex scandal

Pearson has previously requested privacy for the school during the year-end final exams.

The SA Council of Educators (SACE) has also launched an investigation into a possible violation of the code of conduct which applies to teachers - that they may not have intimate relationships with pupils. 

SACE spokesperson Thembinkosi Ndhlovu said the principal requested that pupils be allowed to write their exams to avoid any disruptions, so their investigation has been rescheduled for that purpose. 

Booth said that SACE had still not contacted him, and he had only heard of their plans through the media.

Read more on:    bishops diocesan college  |  cape town  |  education  |  crime
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