Ex EC teacher guilty in child porn case

Neil Mal­herbe has been con­victed on three counts

Daily Dispatch - - Front Page - By MIKE LOEWE

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. —

NEIL MAL­HERBE

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