Bishops sex scandal inquiry complete without teacher's testimony
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CAPE TOWN - An inquiry conducted by Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town into alleged
sexual abuse of pupils is complete, but the soon-to-be-released report will not include a testimony from history teacher and water polo coach Fiona Viotti, 32, the woman at the centre of drama.
“My client was not interviewed,” said Viotti’s lawyer William Booth.
“I advised her not to (comment) because it wasn’t a
hearing. There was no disciplinary inquiry because she had already resigned.”
In mid-October, Bishops was rocked by the news that Viotti had immediately resigned after it was claimed she had a sexual relationship with a matric pupil.
That was followed by three more boys saying they had sexual relationships with Viotti.
At the time, sources alleged the boys were aged between 17 and 18 and the first incident dated back to 2015.
Sources also said seven alleged victims had been identified and more could come forward as the inquiry progressed.
It was alleged Viotti had sent a pupil a selfie of her wearing skimpy lace panties which went viral on social media, along with a video allegedly of her masturbating on a bed.
After her resignation, Viotti was apparently admitted to a top Cape Town psychiatric clinic and later discharged. Last week, a source claimed the teacher had been readmitted to the clinic for further treatment.
Booth refused to be drawn on this. He did speak about Viotti declining to be interviewed by inquiry attorney Graeme Dorrington and advocate Francois van Zyl.
“The inquiry lawyers interviewed various people at the school.
“They included students and others. And during that period of time, Fiona wasn’t in a state to be interviewed as she was under medical treatment. And we provided the inquiry with her reasons why.
“I can’t say anything more because the reasons are confidential. Once the school release their report I may be able to explain more. I have requested a copy,” said Booth.
This means that Bishops must wait to hear what Viotti might have to say about the allegations that she seduced at least five boys over a period of four years.
Nor will it yet be able to ascertain her version of the alleged abuse of her position.
Viotti’s alleged misconduct has shocked many, among them her father Dave Mallett, a house master and long-time history teacher at the school.
She was held in high esteem at the school.
“She was a brilliant history teacher,” said a senior colleague.
“She took water polo as a 24-year-old from zero to hero. At 30 she was appointed assistant house director. This is the tragedy. That teacher, who was good at what she did, abused her power. The fact that the boys were of consenting age is immaterial.”
Bishops has refused to comment on Viotti’s declining to be interviewed, but confirmed
it had received the report from the investigation last week.
It contained “findings and recommendations” that had been considered and the school would issue a public statement on Monday.