Cape Town - The tribunal into the alleged rape of Anglican Church reverend, June Dolley-Major was thrown into disarray when Dolley-Major had to immediately depart and self-isolate after having been exposed to a Covid-19 positive case.
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa Diocese of Cape Town Tribunal convened on Wednesday at the St George’s Cathedral, in Cape Town CBD, for the sixth day.
In 2002, Dolley-Major with two clergymen undertook a visit to Makhanda (then Grahamstown), where the incident is said to have occurred. Dolley-Major and the accused stayed in the residence of a priest for the three day trip.
The accused denied that he and the accompanied priest had conspired to conceal the alleged rape, and referred to the testimony by Dolley-Major that he entered her room, pulled down her underwear and penetrated her without consent, as lies.
The accused said a disagreement emerged out of Dolley-Major’s reluctance to pay towards petrol for the trip and that he had only gone to her bedroom door to offer to pay her portion of the trip.
The accused said he never entered the room but cannot recall whether the door was open or closed and could not recall what she was doing at the time.
Some inconsistencies were noted in witness testimonies with the accompanying priest saying he was upset as the accused was in the room of Dolley-Major and they argued about this in the courtyard the next day.
Following an hour of cross-examination of the accused, shuffling and confusion arose once it was mentioned that a close family member of Dolley-Major had tested positive for Covid-19.
The tribunal continued with the cross examination of the accused after breaking for two hours for decontamination of the room. Advocate for the accused, Lynette Myburgh said this was an attempt to get the tribunal to be postponed.
“This all goes back to 2016 when she resigned and was homeless and used this opportunity and me for that matter to get back at the church and in that way maybe get money out of them,” said the accused.
Dolley-Major said her doctor had advised that the entire tribunal self-isolate and not continue with the tribunal till isolation is over.
“I was in close contact with many of them; in close contact with my attorney, who in turn was in close contact with the others. The room was only now sanitized and they insist that the tribunal should continue without me. I've raised objections to this, but I'm ignored.”
Bishop Garth Counsell denied previous media reports that he had attempted to silence Dolley-Major in order to protect the Church.