Ex EC teacher guilty in child porn case
Neil Malherbe has been convicted on three counts
FORMER Eastern Cape teacher and Mpumalanga principal Neil Malherbe, 49, has been convicted in a regional magistrate’s court in Nelspruit on three counts related to child pornography.
He will be sentenced on January 18.
Malherbe taught at Selborne, St Andrew’s and Graeme colleges in East London and Grahamstown, and was taking up a post as principal of Penryn Preparatory before his arrest in 2013.
At that time, former SAPS spokesman, Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale told the Dispatch Malherbe was picked up during an international investigation into child porn after he ordered child porn online from a manufacturer in Canada.
A raid on Malherbe’s home in August 15 2013 found many images stored on DVDs, laptops, hard drives and memory sticks, he said.
This week, provincial National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Monica Nyuswa told The Lowvelder that Malherbe was found guilty on three of seven charges, one of them importing child pornography.
Magistrate Vanessa Joubert found him guilty after the state provided evidence of video footage and images, and on the testimony of witnesses.
The head of South Africa’s Project Spade, Lieutenant-Colonel Heila Niemand, told the Lowvelder that investigations had led to seven perpetrators being convicted on child pornography charges. They were: ● Charles Martin Ashford who pleaded guilty in the Pretoria Regional Court in June last year to the unlawful possession of child pornography and was fined R20 000 and declared unfit to work with children.
● Anthony Ronald Evans, of Grahamstown, who was arrested in March and entered into a plea bargain to serve 10 years in jail for his involvement in child pornography;
● Gregory Robinson, who received a four-year suspended sentence last year for possessing child pornography.
Malherbe left Penryn College in August 2013 with executive headmaster Christian Erasmus telling the Lowevelder there were never any allegations, suggestions or even a hint that any Penryn child was linked to any of the charges against Malherbe.
In 2013, the Dispatch reported that his arrest was greeted with disbelief because Malherbe had enjoyed a glittering reputation at three of the Eastern Cape schools where he taught.
At that time, Peter Reed, headmaster of Graeme College in Grahamstown and internationally respected David Wylde, former head of St Andrew’s College, told the Dispatch about Malherbe’s superb teaching and sport coaching prowess.
Wylde said Malherbe had been a boarding house master without complaint for seven years. Reed, a former deputy principal at Selborne, said he worked with Malherbe at both schools. “I could not find fault with him.”
According to a leading publishing house, Malherbe was an award-winning children’s author. He grew up in Pretoria, matriculating from a top boys school and graduated from Rhodes University with a Masters degree.
In 2013, prior to his arrest, he hosted a function in March for abused children at one of his former schools.
A welfare organisation reported that he told children “delightful stories” at their annual Teddy Bear Picnic. —