Home South African Calls for thorough investigation into rape allegations at Bishops College

Calls for thorough investigation into rape allegations at Bishops College

258
SHARE

A video of an alleged rape involving pupils at Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town has been circulating on social media.

Picture: Henk Kruger/Weekend Argus

CAPE TOWN – Urgent calls for a thorough investigation into the alleged rape of a 15-year-old Bishops Diocesan College pupil have been made after a video of the incident was circulated on social media.

News of the video caused outrage as the school confirmed in a statement that it was aware of the video which involved two 15-year-old pupils. One of the pupils is screaming and pinned to the bed during the alleged assault while the person recording the video can be heard laughing in the background.

The school said that if inappropriate conduct was found on the side of pupils, immediate action would be taken.

While police could not confirm whether a case had been registered for investigation, calls from social media for criminal charges to be laid were made.

The executive director of the Independent Schools’ Association of Southern Africa said preliminary investigations found that no rape had occurred but was being “simulated”.

Western Cape MEC for Education Debbie Schafer said her department would keep track of the investigation. She said the allegations were serious in nature and worrying.

“I trust it will be fully investigated as a matter of urgency. These allegations, if true, are a disgrace and harsh action must be taken against anyone involved, including those filming and egging the actions on, as well as anyone distributing such material. If the allegations are not correct, it is similarly disturbing,” she said.

“The filming and distribution of such material cannot be condoned. I am extremely distressed by this. Notwithstanding that it is an independent school, our Head of Department has been in touch with the principal and we will be keeping tabs on the investigation, its outcome and appropriate actions taken.”

Chairperson of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas), Paul Colditz said schools needed to take a firm stance on incidents of this nature while ensuring they instil moral-driven values into schools.

“These incidents continue to occur in our schools because it is something our children are continuously exposed to in society,” he said.

“Addressing this should come from not just a rule driven approach but also create value driven schools where you won’t have boys and girls who resort to this kind of conduct and eventually post it on social media. Action must be taken.”

This is not the first time the school has been in hot water over allegations of a sexual nature.

Former teacher, Fiona Viotti, was found to have engaged in “sexual misconduct” with at least five pupils between 2013 and 2019. However, three months ago, the South African Council for Educator closed its investigation after no witnesses came forward.

Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba said: “Such cases at any of our church schools in Southern Africa have need to be taken very seriously. In the first instance I rely on a school to take action. At Bishops I have a representative on the governing council and will be briefed on the case, and whether I need to get further involved, as necessary.”