Former Dale College Primary teacher admits to sex with pupil 30 years later

Social media helps to find tormentor, Richard Second, who faces possible charge

04 November 2018 - 00:25 By PREGA GOVENDER


A retired principal has made an astounding confession about sexually assaulting two pupils more than 30 years ago while he was a teacher at a prestigious boys' school.
Richard Second, 61, made the confession in an e-mail to a former pupil, who had tracked him down and confronted him about being "sexually violated and raped" while he was at Dale College Boys' Primary School in King William's Town, in the Eastern Cape.
The victim, who had until recently believed that Second had died, has now laid a charge with police.
"Now that I know he is alive, I want this monster stopped. I don't open up to people because the one person I opened up to totally destroyed that trust."
Second was an art teacher at Dale when the incident occurred in the early 1980s. He retired as principal of Queen's College Boys' Primary School in Queenstown in February after being headmaster there since 2006.
Responding to the victim's account of being "sexually violated and raped", Second admits in an e-mail "it is very accurate".
However, he told the Sunday Times this week he had not raped the boy, but admitted to fondling him and another pupil.
But he told his victim, who was 12 years old and in standard 5 at the time, that "you have confronted me openly on the matter and I admit to my acts of sexual abuse".
The father of two could be among the first alleged sex offenders in the country to be prosecuted for a sexual assault that took place several decades ago after the Constitutional Court ruled in June that sexual assault offences would no longer prescribe (become unenforceable) after 20 years.
The former headmaster's disturbing revelations come as this week's sentencing of convicted paedophile Collan Rex, in the high court sitting at the Palm Ridge magistrate's court in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg, was postponed to next month. The former assistant water polo coach at Parktown Boys' High was convicted on 12 counts of assault and 144 counts of sexual assault.
The Dale College victim, who is now in his late-40s, has been living in the US since 1996. He is divorced, with two children.
In his first e-mail to Second, dated October 22, he wrote: "You may have forgotten who I am but I am haunted by the mere thought of you, and have been ever since you came to my bed that one night and then took me to your room and sexually violated and raped me.
"I was 12 years old! You took advantage of me and in sexually assaulting me, you effectively destroyed my youth and life forever. You were my art teacher and I used to love art. Used to love spending time in your room building sculptures. I have hated art and sculpting ever since."
The victim, who is an architect, stated: "I wish I had had the courage and strength at the time to tell other teachers, or to find you and confront you. I had been told that you had died and that reassured me, that put my mind at ease."
But he found out last Monday from a Facebook friend that Second was still alive after he found a picture of him on social media.
Speaking from the US, he said he had been embarrassed to report the incident at the time because "I thought I had done something to bring this on me".
On Thursday, he sent a sworn statement to the police's family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit in Mossel Bay.
Responding to the victim in an e-mail, Second, who is living in Mossel Bay, wrote: "What I did was sickening and your anger and sadness is well directed. I acknowledge my crime. I must face the consequences of my actions and will be prepared to do that."
In another e-mail, he wrote: "I chose you because I liked you, you were trusting of me, all alone and vulnerable."
He admitted sexually abusing another pupil who was living in another hostel, saying "the relationship was more intense".
Second confirmed that the e-mails seen by the Sunday Times were authentic.
Dale College Boys' Primary School referred queries to the provincial education department. Eastern Cape education department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said the department was "shocked and disappointed at this shameful revelation".
Brendan Raasch, chairman of the governing body of Queen's College Boys' Primary School, said: "The school will institute a heightened awareness campaign and past and current learners and parents will be provided with contact details."
Southern Cape police spokesperson Capt Malcolm Pojie confirmed an indecent assault and sodomy case had been registered. He said the docket would be transferred to King William's Town as the alleged offences had taken place there.
Sanja Bornman, of Lawyers for Human Rights, said it was correct for police to be investigating Second in connection with indecent assault and sodomy, as the alleged crimes took place in the 1980s, long before the Sexual Offences Act - which classifies sodomy as rape - was implemented in 2007.
ABUSIVE TEACHERS NOT ON SEX OFFENDER REGISTER The names of only 23 teachers appear on the National Child Protection Register, despite hundreds of them being found guilty of sexual assault.
The register, which was launched in 2010 and is kept by the department of social development, has 1 ,386 names.
Department spokesperson Jaconia Kobue confirmed that the South African Council for Educators (Sace) started submitting names only in April this year.
Between April 2017 and March this year, 36 teachers were hauled before disciplinary hearings in four provinces for allegedly having sexual relationships with pupils, and a further 24 for sexual assault.
Sace spokesperson Themba Ndhlovu said the names submitted to social development were those of teachers struck off the teachers' roll.
He failed to respond to follow-up questions about why so few teachers' names appear on the register, and why Sace has not submitted names for the past seven years.

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