Coach David Mackenzie faces disciplinary hearing after claims of inappropriate behaviour emerge

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  • Reddam House has charged David Mackenzie for not disclosing past investigations against him.
  • The former St Andrew's College water polo coach was attending his disciplinary hearing in Fourways, Johannesburg on Monday.
  • News24 saw the teacher flanked by a family member as he made his way to his hearing.

Former St Andrew's College (SAC) water polo coach David Mackenzie is facing a disciplinary hearing with his current employer, Reddam House Bedfordview, over claims he was dishonest about his past.

Mackenzie has been accused of inappropriate behaviour during his time at the Eastern Cape all-boys school. The claims against him include signing two boys out of the school sanatorium against school policy.

The allegations against Mackenzie have been revealed in the My Only Story podcast series. The live investigation, into the death of SAC pupil Thomas Kruger and Mackenzie's action, was produced by News24 and the My Only Story non-profit company.

In the past three weeks, the podcast revealed explosive allegations against the beleaguered coach.

Mackenzie abruptly left SAC in June 2018 after the headmaster indicated he would face a disciplinary hearing for signing out the two boys.

A month later he was employed by Grey College in Bloemfontein and now teaches at Reddam House Bedfordview.

Reddam House charged Mackenzie soon after he was named in episode two of the series.

The school charged him with bringing its name into disrepute and for being dishonest about his past.

News24 was at the venue where Mackenzie's hearing was taking place in Fourways, Johannesburg, on Monday.

Flanked by a family member, Mackenzie was clad in a grey blazer, black pants and brown shoes. Mackenzie avoided eye contact with this News24 journalist and didn't respond to a question on how he felt ahead of his hearing.

According to the notice issued to Mackenzie, which News24 has seen and was submitted by the teacher to the Port Elizabeth High Court when he sought to interdict further publication of the podcast, the school informed the teacher that it decided to conduct a disciplinary hearing against him in the wake of revelations in the My Only Story: Back to School podcast series.

Reddam House has appointed an independent chairperson to lead the hearing.

Mackenzie was entitled to be represented by a colleague, the notice said.

The charges he faces:

Charge 1:

Mackenzie is alleged to be "guilty" of gross dishonesty and or gross negligence and damaging the reputation of the school and not acting in good faith towards the school, the notice said.

Mackenzie was being charged for not informing the school that News24 and My Only Story would be reporting on him even when he had become aware of the pending report.

"The failure to immediately disclose such information resulted in an article and podcast series being published without the school being prepared therefore, and which brought the school's good name into disrepute and had a negative impact on the school and the school's pupils," said the notice.

Charge 2:

According to the notice, Mackenzie was also charged with gross dishonesty and or gross negligence and falsification of documents and or misrepresentation in that neither prior to his appointment by Reddam nor during his appointment process did he mention he was investigated at St Andrew's College and by the police in March 2019.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) declined to prosecute Mackenzie, citing a lack of evidence after a police investigation.

The notice said:

It is submitted that such information is crucially important information that any reasonable employer would require be disclosed, especially given the fact that as a maths teacher and water polo coach you would be working with children.

The school said trust with Mackenzie had "irretrievably broken down" and that it lost confidence in his ability to continue teaching and directing water polo.

Mackenzie may also face a charge of incompatibility should more allegations against him arise during the school's investigation, it said.

"It is alleged that you are incompatible with the school and the values and principles espoused by the school and required of all teachers, pupils and all those associated with the school in any way. In particular, your conduct in relation to one or more pupils at St Andrew's College (Grahamstown) which has been publicised in the 'My Only Story' podcast and related news articles, is in direct contravention of inter alia the school's historical foundation, principles and its current motto..."

On Wednesday, Mackenzie attempted to interdict News24 and My Only Story from publishing any further episodes of the series.

He later abandoned his urgent interdict application filed in the Port Elizabeth High Court.

In a motion served on News24's lawyers late on Tuesday night, Mackenzie indicated he sought an urgent interdict barring the publication of any further articles, as well as upcoming episodes of the podcasts.

He argued that it was not properly investigated, and that he was being defamed and prejudiced.

Mackenzie and his lawyers had so far declined to comment or answer questions from News24.

Please continue sending us your stories and tip-offs. You can contact us, completely confidentially, at tips@24.com or message us on WhatsApp or Telegram on 071 382 7030

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