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Swimming coach accused of sexually assaulting 16-year-old Pretoria teen

By Norman Cloete Time of article published Nov 21, 2020

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A 16-year-old Pretoria girl is the latest to come forward about claims of sexual assault at the hands of her swimming coach. The family of the Grade 10 pupil opened a case of sexual assault at the Brooklyn Police Station. The girl, who was 15 at the time of the alleged abuse is now one of three women who have come forward, claiming they were sexually assaulted by their coaches.

Last week, Saturday Star reported that two cases of sexual harassment/abuse were brought to the attention of Swimming South Africa. The first case, involving two women, dates back 40 years while the other incident is said to be recent (2019). Swimming SA released a short statement this week saying it has since instituted an investigation into what it says are “very serious allegations”

Swimming SA CEO, Shaun Adriaanse said: “Until such time as the investigation is concluded, no further public comments will be made. Under the circumstances, we are unable to confirm the identity of any of the parties involved as the matter is under investigation”.

Saturday Star spoke to the father (identity withheld to protect his daughter) of the Pretoria girl who explained how his daughter was groomed and eventually molested. The teenager took swimming lessons with the man at a well-known Pretoria school.

“My wife found notes in her diary of how the coach requested explicit pictures of her. We found pictures on her phone that she had sent. My daughter told us that he used his finger to penetrate her. I wanted to kill him. I wanted to physically harm him but of course I couldn't. We had to let the law run its course,” said the man.

According to the devastated father, a hospital examination showed that the young girl’s hymen was still intact. She received counselling and according to her father, she is “better”.

In Durban, two women who opened a case against their former coach, claiming he sexually assaulted girls as young as ten-years-old. The women, who are now both in their 50s, opened a case of sexual assault at the Pinetown Police Station in Durban last week. In their statements to police, they claimed they were sexually groomed by the swimming legend in the late 70s and and early 80s. The man’s identity is known to Saturday Star.

An attorney for the Durban-based coach, Kay Naidoo from Livingston Leandy Attorneys in Umhlanga, KZN this week said: “My client is unconnected to the recent case and your query suggests that this incident occurred recently (approximately 1 year ago). This ties in with the media statement of Swimming SA which says that the cases are unrelated. You will note Swimming SA refers, in their media statement, to ‘alleged members’. This suggests that the alleged new complaint is unconnected to my client. Needless to say, my client denies these allegations”.

Child Protection and Development Specialist for Women and Men Against Child Abuse, Luke Lamprecht questioned why Swimming SA was refusing to release a report into the Durban-based coach that was initiated when the first allegations came to light.

“They (Swimming SA) claim that the board launched an investigation but nobody at the board knows anything about the investigation or the report which Shaun Adriaanse has on the man,” he said.

Lamprecht, who is assisting the women said the three survivors have all been questioned by police.

Adriaanse in turn denied the existence of a report into the conduct of the Durban-based coach.

KZN police confirmed to Saturday Star, in an email, that the matter is under investigation.

Attempts for comment from Swimming SA about the Pretoria coach have been ignored. Saturday Star contacted the owner of the PR company, Forever Marketing, which was appointed by Swimming SA to handle media queries but received no comment.

“I have just spoken to Shaun (Adriaanse) and I have asked him to answer,” said the owner of Forever Marketing..

Saturday Star spoke also with Phumzile Sikhosana at Swimming SA who said that CEO, Shaun Adriaanse was in meetings and he would reply to media queries.

“I don’t appreciate you calling me on my cell phone. I told you Shaun will get back to you,” said Sikhosana.

At the time of publication, no comment was received from Swimming SA about the latest allegations in Pretoria.

The Saturday Star knows the identity of both coaches who have been accused of sexual assault.

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