Woman charges top swim coach with rape, wants Swimming SA to release probe report

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During a briefing with activism group Women and Men Against Child Abuse on Tuesday, the 50-year-old woman opened up about the sexual abuse she suffered over 40 years ago.

A woman who opened a rape case against a prominent SA swimming coach is pleading with Swimming SA (SSA) to release the findings of an investigation she says it conducted into her allegations.

During a briefing with activism group Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) on Tuesday, the 50-year-old woman opened up about the sexual abuse she suffered over 40 years ago.

This month, she finally opened a case against the coach for a rape which allegedly took place in 1979 – when she was 10.

“People think you just decided 41 years later that it’s a good thing to do; that today you will come forward because you have nothing better to do. I’ve got news for you. I have lived with this abuse every day of my life. It has affected me in so many ways,” she said.

According to the woman, she informed the head of SSA about her ordeal – and an investigation, carried out by an independent lawyer, was launched in August this year.

According to the woman, she has been trying to access the findings of the report, after she gave evidence in the investigation, but to no avail.

Letter

She also read out a confirmation letter from a psychologist she was seeing in 2003, who told her, without revealing any identifying information, that she had treated two young girls who made the same rape allegations against the coach.

In her letter, the psychologist said she had done this because it would help her heal.

It was reported that the man, through his lawyers, had denied the allegations and that SSA would be launching an investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse.

However, the woman claims the investigation was concluded in September.

“He [the head of the SSA] instituted an investigation with an attorney in Durban, who I had to find. He called in a number of witnesses to check if there is a prima facie case against Mr X,” said the woman.

Meanwhile, police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the woman’s docket had been transferred to a senior public prosecutor for a decision on whether to prosecute.

Case

“Pinetown FCS Unit is investigating a case of rape. It is alleged by the complainant that, in 1979 and 1980, she was raped by a known suspect while at Cowies Hill. The docket was taken to [a] senior public prosecutor for a decision,” said Gwala.

Luke Lamprecht, an advocacy manager at WMACA, said they had also tried to get the SSA chair to send the report to the authorities.

“The big issue is that we understand this independent legal investigation happened, and that this independent investigation had found there should be an independent judicial enquiry,” said Lamprecht.

When asked about the investigation, SSA referred News24 to a statement released last week.

“SSA is conducting its own investigation to ascertain if members are in breach of the organisation’s policies and code of conduct. Until such a time the investigation is concluded, no further public comment will be made,” its statement said.

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