Former Bryanston High sports coach could face more charges – anti-abuse group

2019-03-12 16:02
School classroom. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

School classroom. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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A former Bryanston High School sports coach appeared in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on allegations of sexually assaulting a pupil.

The 33-year-old man, who can't be named because he has not pleaded, made a brief appearance in court before his matter was postponed.

He is expected back in court on April 15.

Child protection specialist at Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) Luke Lamprecht told the media outside the court that the anti-abuse organisation hoped the accused would be able to plead when the matter resumes next month.

Lamprecht said it was likely that more sexual offences charges would be added to the charge sheet.

"He has not been charged yet in court. For now he is facing a single charge of sexual assault since one victim came forward in January this year and laid charges against the coach. Two more victims have come forward with other allegations.

"We hope that when he appears again, he will be officially charged. Our biggest worry is that the man was not registered with the South African Council of Educators (SACE) when he was employed by the school," said Lamprecht.

READ: Bryanston High School SGB denies allegations that it withheld information about sexual abuse of pupils

"We are worried that since he was not registered with SACE, he will be able to work with children in future even if he was dismissed by Bryanston High School. If he was initially registered with SACE when he was appointed, he would have been on the SACE child protection register and prevented from ever working with children," said Lamprecht.

On March 1, the teacher was fired by the school governing body (SGB) following a disciplinary process. He was accused of sexually harassing three pupils and financial mismanagement.

Only one of the three victims later laid charges against the man at Sandton police station. Two others are also expected to lay criminal charges against him, according to WMACA.

The alleged incidents of sexual assault were said to have taken place during netball matches and on school outings between 2017 and 2018. A parent of one of the complainants confirmed this to News24. 

The organisation earlier accused the SGB of allegedly persuading parents of the victims to pursue internal disciplinary steps instead of going the criminal route, withholding sensitive information about the allegations.

WMACA said it believed that the girls were sexually groomed by their coach. 

SGB chairperson Aidan Hillebrand labelled the allegations by WMACA – that the school body's members withheld information – as incorrect, false and unfounded.

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Read more on:    gauteng  |  sexual abuse  |  courts
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