Bishops sex scandal teacher still under medical care - lawyer


The former Bishops teacher accused of sexual misconduct is still under medical care, her lawyer said after the school released a statement on the findings of its investigation on Monday.

"She is not at a clinic, but she is receiving outpatient treatment," attorney William Booth said of the former teacher and sports coach.

He said the school had also not sent him the statement it had released on Monday morning, with sight of it only coming after journalists sent it to him. "I still have not received the statement, despite two requests prior to today," said Booth.

Earlier on Monday, school principal Guy Pearson said in a statement that the investigation by private lawyers had found that teacher Fiona Viotti was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct with at least five pupils.

However, she would not be disciplined because she had resigned.

Pearson said the allegations were made to him on October 10.

Viotti resigned and left the school the following day.

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

Pearson said Viotti's lawyer had indicated full cooperation in a letter, but had later refused a request for her to attend an interview with the investigators.

She was also not prepared to make any written comments on the merits of the matter.

Booth told News24 this was because Viotti was under medical care and "very emotional" at the time, but also because the school could not guarantee that anything Viotti told them would be kept private, and not released to the public.

"She wasn't in a state to be interviewed," said Booth.

'She also has rights'

He added that the Bishops internal investigation was "not an inquiry" and that Viotti had the right to remain silent.

"She also has rights which have to be protected.

Viotti also faces an investigation by the SA Council of Educators, which registers teachers and deals with misconduct complaints.

This process could determine whether or not she can carry on working as a school teacher.

The Bishops Diocesan College in Rondebosch investigation was led by advocate Francois van Zyl SC of the Cape Bar and Graeme Dorrington of Dorrington Jessop Attorneys.

The finding was that, between 2013 and 2019, and while employed as a teacher at the school, Viotti engaged in sexual misconduct with at least five pupils.

No evidence could be found that the principal knew of this.

The investigators were also not able to ascertain with certainty to whom Viotti had sent videos or photographic images, after some – purporting to be of her – did the rounds on social media.

Viotti is the daughter of Dave Mallet, also a teacher and sports coach at the school.

Her grandfather Anthony Mallett is a former headmaster.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Matric results are out! Are you happy with your child's result?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
No, the pandemic really messed up their ability to focus
35% - 147 votes
Yes, they did well given the circumstances
65% - 274 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.