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Michaelhouse school appoints top independent legal consultant to probe racism allegations

Michaelhouse has appointed senior legal practitioner to investigate racial allegations. Pictured Supplied

Michaelhouse has appointed senior legal practitioner to investigate racial allegations. Pictured Supplied

Published Jun 2, 2022

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Durban - The Michaelhouse private senior boys school has made commitment to resolve the allegations of racism levelled against its pupil as it appoints an independent legal consultant to lead an investigation into the alleged incident.

This comes after a hockey player from Michaelhouse allegedly used a racial slur against a player from St John's College during the Derby Day match on last Friday evening.

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This lead to the schools cancelling the hockey match between the KwaZulu-Natal school and Gauteng schools, and the alleged perpetrator being temporarily suspended pending investigation.

According to the rector of the school, Antony Clark, the school has worked hard to maintain its reputation of being a “happy school” and maintains good relations with all boys regardless of their race and and backgrounds.

He said the events noted in the past weekend served as a reminder for the school to continue their work of building an inclusive ethos.

Clark added that the school would be taking additional measures to address the matter.

“With the agreement of St John’s, Michaelhouse has appointed an independent legal consultant to lead an investigation into the alleged incident,” he said.

She was appointed on Monday, and began working as of Tuesday.

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Clark would not reveal the name the consultant, however, he confirmed the appointed person was a senior legal partitioner serving as an acting judge of the Gauteng High Court Division in Johannesburg.

The scope of work, he said, would involve a thorough investigation into the allegations that have been levelled.

“The terms of reference will be to review the video footage of the incident. To interview all witnesses, potential witnesses and stakeholders concerned. To review statements of the boys and personnel of both schools here and in Johannesburg. To establish the veracity of the statements received and to consider whether there are grounds for disciplinary action before submitting a report to me as the rector of Michaelhouse and to the executive headmaster of St John’s,” said Clark.

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He confirmed that if disciplinary action was required required, the matter would progress under the school’s Disciplinary Code and Procedures with an independent chairperson.

Clark noted that it was a fairly long process, however they would do their utmost to resolve it as timeously as possible.

“As you can glean from this, the process may take time to complete, but we are taking the lead in resolving this matter expeditiously, as you may judge from the appointment and progress of the investigating officer, who has already conducted interviews at Michaelhouse,” he said.

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SUNDAY TRIBUNE

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