Investigation reveals sexual assault claims against former teacher at St John’s College

15 November 2021 - 16:09
St John's College. File photo.
St John's College. File photo.
Image: Alon Skuy

St John’s College in Johannesburg has confirmed that an independent probe has revealed allegations of sexual assault committed by one of its former teachers against past pupils.

Stuart West, executive headmaster of St John’s, informed parents in a letter on Monday that the teacher taught in the preparatory school for eight years before resigning in 2014 to take up a post at another school.

The teacher had served in various other roles during his tenure at St John’s.

West said the school became aware of the allegations on October 13 after one of the victims, a former pupil who is now an adult, disclosed the alleged sexual assault to his parents.

“The school immediately initiated an independent investigation which was conducted by a child protection expert, which resulted in other past students coming forward to report alleged sexual assaults by this particular teacher during their time at the prep.”

He said the allegations were reported to the family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit of the SA Police Service on Monday.

“St John’s has reported the teacher to the South African Council for Educators (SACE) and the Anglican Safe Church Unit through the bishop of Johannesburg. The former teacher’s current employer has also been notified.”

He said they will do everything humanly possible “to help rid our schools of the scourge of sexual predators”.

The council of St John’s is establishing an independent review of, among other things, the safeguarding measures in place at the school at that time.

“It is expected that this will commence early next year.”

West urged any member of the St John’s community “who lives with the awful secret of sexual or other abuse experienced at the school” to report the information to them.