Grey management quizzed on delay in reporting case
A criminal investigation has been launched following allegations that a Grey Junior aftercare supervisor performed sexual acts on boys as young as 12 and sent them sexually explicit photographs.
Yesterday, senior state prosecutor Advocate Linda le Roux, who specialises in sexual offences cases, and Mount Road Cluster Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit detective team commander Captain Sanet Winter held a meeting with the school management to try to find out why the serious allegations had not been reported immediately.
The inquiry comes after The Herald’s sister publication, Weekend Post, broke the news that a 22-year-old woman had been suspended three weeks ago pending an investigation by the school.
At yesterday’s meeting, the school claimed that it had always been its intention to report the allegations to police, according to a source.
The source, who did not want to be named, said the school had told the police they would have been informed once its own internal investigation had been completed. Grey Junior School sent a letter to the parents of children at aftercare, via a school app, calling for a meeting.
The meeting was held just a few hours after Le Roux and Winter had met school management.
More than 20 parents attended the meeting, held at the Lindsay Pearson Pavilion.
Parents approached later for comment referred all questions to the principal, Lindsay Pearson.
He said he could not comment as the matter was still being investigated.
The boys who were allegedly sent the photographs are not believed to be part of the aftercare group, which only caters for Grade 1 to Grade 3 pupils.
It is alleged that more than 10 boys received photographs of female genitals.
Allegations of sexual acts also surfaced earlier this month.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed that a meeting between police and the school’s management had led to the criminal investigation.
“The police detectives have opened an inquiry for investigation based on what materialised at the meeting,” Naidu said.
“The investigation will look at all aspects, including why it was not reported sooner as well as the allegations against the woman.”
In a letter to parents yesterday, referring to the Weekend Post report, the school said it wanted to assure parents that “this is not the way we would want them to find out about an issue of this nature”.
It said further: “The school received allegations that one of the aftercare supervisors had been involved in inappropriate conversations with a number of senior boys at the school.
“In addition, it is alleged that the boys were exposed to pictures of a pornographic nature.
“The school considers the allegations as serious and of a gross nature.
“The person concerned was suspended immediately pending further investigations into the allegations, which are at an advanced stage,” the letter said.
“I trust that all our parents can understand the sensitivity of this issue and our need to follow due process.
“Rest assured that we are doing all we can to protect the boys in the process.”
The school also informed the parents of children at the aftercare of two meetings to discuss the allegations.
The letter stated that one meeting would take place at 5pm yesterday and the other at 7am today.
“The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss allegations of inappropriate conduct by one of the aftercare supervisors,” it said.
“The attendance of at least one parent would be much appreciated.” – Additional reporting by Amir Chetty