EXCLUSIVE | Prestigious boys' school reports allegations of sexual misconduct against former teacher

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Grey College in Bloemfontein.
Grey College in Bloemfontein.
Supplied

Grey College, one of the country's most prestigious all-boys' schools, has denied knowledge of allegations of sexual misconduct against a former teacher, but has notified the provincial education department about the matter.

This follows revelations by Deon Wiggett in his podcast My Only Story, co-published by News24, that his rapist - whom he identifies only as Jimmy - was a teacher at the famous Bloemfontein school in 1989 and 1990. Wiggett has identified former pupils who were also molested by the former teacher.

One former pupil, named Matthew, told Wiggett in episode two of the podcast that "there was dodge stuff going on" and that Jimmy was responsible. Deon Scheepers, Grey's headmaster, said the school community was shocked by the allegations against the former teacher who, according to Wiggett, had left the school abruptly.

"We hope that the incident will be thoroughly investigated by the authorities and that, should there be merit in the allegations, the guilty party will be punished. No one at Grey College approves of this and the school will cooperate fully.

"The allegations have also been brought to the attention of the education department. The specific allegation had not been brought to the current headmaster's attention," Scheepers told News24.

The school has, however, not been able to provide details about Jimmy's tenure at Grey and has not responded to requests for information from the school's records or personnel files.

The chairperson of the school governing body, Henry Buchner, said: "Apart from condemning such incidents in the strongest possible terms, I have no knowledge of any facts relating to this specific allegation and I cannot comment." 

Ingo Machts, a teacher and housemaster at Grey, told News24 he served on the staff with Jimmy and lived with him in one of the school's hostels, Brill House. He was, however, not aware of any complaints about sexual assault against Jimmy. He could also not recall why Jimmy left Grey, considered one of South Africa's top educational institutions.

READ: Podcast of man tracking sexual abuser receives overwhelming response

Dr Michau Heyns, who was headmaster of Grey from 1980 to 1992, could not recall Jimmy nor the circumstances leading to his departure when contacted by News24. 

In Thursday's episode, Wiggett travels to Bloemfontein to search through Grey's archives, and contacts former pupils who attended the school during Jimmy's time there.

One, Matthew, tells Wiggett: "There was some 'dodge' stuff going on."

Matthew reveals details about an evening in Bloemfontein when he was 14 years old.

"Jimmy used a trick to get Matthew alone … he had somehow, quite innocently, convinced him to take off his shorts.

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: 'I was raped at 17 and I'm not the only one' - man tracks sexual abuser in podcast

"Matthew says: 'I was so naive then, I …' and then he suddenly just stops mid-sentence… 'That's all that happened, I have to go now...'" 

Messages that Wiggett sent Matthew after this conversation have gone unanswered. 

"He's remembered something that doesn't make sense to him," Wiggett remarked. "And he doesn't want to talk about it anymore." 

He never heard from Matthew again. 

Wiggett questioned why Jimmy had lied to him about the number of years he taught at Grey. 

"What happened after Grey College that he was so desperate for me not to know about? And what happened at Grey College that made him make such a hasty retreat?" 

For months, Grey College was like a fortress, Wiggett recalled, until he received a phone call from a former Grey pupil.

"I can tell you everything…" the caller said. 

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
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
The EFF has voted with the DA to ensure they now govern Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. Was this:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
A brilliant strategic move by the DA not to make formal coalition agreements
24% - 1743 votes
A brilliant strategic move by the EFF to force the DA to negotiate with them
16% - 1159 votes
A recipe for disaster and five more years of unstable local government
60% - 4281 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.27
-1.9%
Rand - Pound
21.71
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
18.42
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.59
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.14
-0.0%
Gold
1,792.60
0.0%
Silver
23.13
0.0%
Palladium
1,751.49
0.0%
Platinum
955.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
72.72
-11.6%
Top 40
62,411
-2.6%
All Share
68,615
-2.8%
Resource 10
64,074
-2.5%
Industrial 25
92,909
-1.3%
Financial 15
12,995
-6.8%
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.

LEARN MORE