Ex-teacher to face sexual abuse charges
Revelations in a national newspaper that a former local headmaster, Richard Second, has admitted to the sexual abuse of two boys at Dale College Boys’ Primary in King William’s Town 32 years ago, have sent shock waves through the Komani community.
Second, 61, retired from Queen’s College Boys’ Primary School earlier this year. The Daily Dispatch reported (“Retired headmaster admits to abusing boys 32 years ago” November 5) that Second had indicated in an e-mail to his accuser, now an architect who had been a 12-year-old boarder at Dale at the time, that, “What I did was sickening and your anger and sadness is well directed”.
Police are investigating charges of indecent assault and sodomy against Second, an art teacher at Dale in the 80s.
Second also indicates in the e-mail that, “I acknowledge my crime. I must face the consequences of my actions and will be prepared to do that.”
Second told the Sunday Times that he had not raped the boy, but admitted to fondling him and another boy at the school.
He could be among the first in SA to be prosecuted for a sexual assault that happened several decades ago, following a ruling by the Constitutional Court in June that sexual offences would no longer become unenforceable after 20 years.
In a statement this week, the Queen’s College Boys’ Primary school governing body chairman Brendan Raasch said the school had taken immediate action to institute a heightened awareness campaign regarding abuse in the school environment.
It was the school’s intention to assist its pupils, staff and parents “to digest the shocking statements made by our former headmaster published in the Sunday Times”.
Although the school had not been accused of any wrongdoing, its board and management were working to ensure that every pupil, past and present, staff and parents had adequate resources and were equipped to respond in any potentially dangerous situation.
The Astro plaque bearing Second’s name and his portrait in the school had been removed, with the Child Witness Institute consulted. Staff were undergoing training on how to give ageappropriate answers to pupils asking subjectrelated questions, while a counselling psychologist was assisting staff battling feelings of betrayal. Staff attended a presentation by the social development department this week on signs and symptoms of sexual offences and child abuse, while parents would be invited to a departmental workshop on the socio-emotional and/or physical changes of children affected by abuse.
Pupils would be addressed in age-appropriate classes and with parents’ consent, about issues around sexual misconduct and abuse, while information boards with contact details of “safe go-to people” were to be displayed as a resource for pupils.
Social media accounts were also updated.
“The SGB and school management give their assurance that they will continue this awareness campaign through life orientation classes, camera surveillance and the consistent application of the SGB policy on pupil-educator protection.”
Queries may be directed to headmaster Lester Pike on (045)
838-4400; Constable Bokolo of the SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit on 045-807
7811 or 079-896 9645; Colonel Nani on 079- 509
More numbers are on the school’s website.