Has top ex-ath­lete crossed the line as a teacher?

CityPress - - News - JO­HAN EYBERS news@city­press.co.za – Rap­port

The for­mer golden boy of South African ath­let­ics, Llewellyn Her­bert, has caused an up­roar at the school he works for af­ter pho­to­graphs of him pos­ing seminude and with two lines of white pow­der emerged.

Her­bert, now the head of dis­ci­pline and a sports coach at Brand­wag High School in Benoni, was given a writ­ten warn­ing by the school af­ter the pic­ture of him with the lines of pow­der started do­ing the rounds.

In the photo, the Olympic 400m hur­dles medal­list is seen smil­ing and hold­ing a CD cover on which there are two thick lines of white pow­der.

The photo was taken close to a river, with peo­ple pic­nick­ing in the back­ground. It is not clear which river it is.

Rev­erend Hen­drik Claassen, chair of the school’s gov­ern­ing body, con­firmed that the school had given Her­bert a warn­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to him, when Her­bert was con­fronted about the pic­ture, he said the photo had been taken be­fore he was hired by the school last year.

But the pic­ture with the pow­der is not the only one that has raised eye­brows at the school.

Other pic­tures of a top­less Her­bert with his jeans un­zipped have also been cir­cu­lat­ing at the school. In some of the pho­tos, Her­bert is seen pos­ing half naked and look­ing sug­ges­tively at the cam­era, while in other pho­tos he is ly­ing on a bed fully clothed and stroking a cat.

The fa­ther of a 14-year-old girl at the school told City Press’ sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion, Rap­port, that he would be go­ing to the school to­mor­row to take the mat­ter up with man­age­ment.

Her­bert strongly de­nied that he had used drugs or other banned sub­stances.

He said the pow­der in the photo “proves noth­ing”, be­fore re­fer­ring Rap­port to his lawyer, Ri­aan Giss­ing.

Giss­ing said the al­le­ga­tions by the school against his client were part of a smear cam­paign.

“A par­ent is un­happy that Her­bert acted against his son af­ter he was caught us­ing dagga. Our en­quiries in­di­cate that the par­ent has ut­tered un­truths about Her­bert,” he said.

One of the “un­truths” is that, dur­ing a per­for­mance of Die Heuwels Fan­tasties at the school, Her­bert ap­par­ently took banned sub­stances in the bath­room.

Claassen said the gov­ern­ing body had con­ducted thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“His for­mer girl­friend was not pre­pared to pro­vide a writ­ten state­ment about this, and we could not fur­ther in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.”

He added that they had sub­jected Her­bert to a drug test and the re­sults had come back neg­a­tive.

Com­ment­ing about the other pho­tos, Claassen said many of them were on Her­bert’s pri­vate Face­book page and not read­ily avail­able. He said the school had now changed its so­cial-me­dia pol­icy. “We will im­me­di­ately act if we find any ev­i­dence, for ex­am­ple, of an adult send­ing pho­tos of a sex­ual na­ture to a pupil,” he said.

Her­bert was the South African 400m hur­dles cham­pion from 1996 to 2003.

A school Llewellyn Her­bert works at is ask­ing ques­tions about what’s go­ing on in th­ese pho­tos

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