The Sunday Independent reported on its front page that the social development department in Cape Town is investigating a convicted child molester after ads offering his tutoring services were brought to its attention.
The man, whom the paper named as Brian Shofer, has been offering parents “guaranteed results” and a “100% pass rate” on free Gumtree classified ads. He confirmed to Independent journalist Fatima Schroeder that he taught “subjects to pupils from Grade 2 to 11”.
The department’s spokesperson said they were “looking into the matter”.
Shofer is reportedly a repeat offender, having been jailed for the sexual assault of boys aged between seven and 14, with convictions said to be dating back to 1994. After being released on parole the first time, he “attracted a second batch of victims when he set up a youth centre in Hanover Park”.
He reportedly tried several different businesses and jobs, but the paper said it could trace his first OLX advert for tutoring back to 2012.
Shofer claimed that he was fully rehabilitated, but a senior lecturer in social work at the University of the Western Cape, Dr Marcel Londt, said that she consider Shofer’s advertisements “a form of grooming”. She said that Shofer was “taunting society by hiding in the open”.
Another child expert said that there should be no circumstances to justify Shofer being allowed to have contact with children again. “Once a paedophile, always a paedophile,” was her view, while another expert was of the opinion that there were too many “red flags” when it came to Shofer.
He did not “have insight into his behaviour, or understand his need to be around children”.