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Head Office • Port Elizabeth

7 Heugh Road, Walmer, 6070


P O Box 5961, Walmer, 6065
Tel: (041) 508-1617
Mobile: (064) 752-4983
Email: secretariat@cc.adventist.org
Website: www.cc.adventist.org
19 February 2019
Ref 19-061

FROM: THE OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY


TO: CAPE CONFERENCE CONSTITUENCY
RE: STATEMENT: BETHEL COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL –
ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Dear Colleagues,
Bethel College High School operates under the auspices of the Cape Conference of
Seventh-day Adventist Church.
On Tuesday 12 February 2019, Bethel College High School Management became aware of
allegations of sexual misconduct, which includes (but not limited to) rape. Allegations that
the Bethel College High school Management did not respond appropriately when sexual
misconduct was reported, were also received.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a Vulnerable Persons Abuse Prevention Policy
which stipulates the process and the mandatory reporting when incidents of Child Sexual
Abuse are brought to our attention.
At the time the School Management became aware of the allegations of sexual misconduct,
which includes (but not limited to) rape and after an initial assessment of the situation,
Management responded by:
• ensuring that the matter was reported to the South African Police Services;
• reporting the matter to a Social Worker; and
• informing the Cape Conference Leadership.
During the course of the week after a report was received from a specific victim it was
again reported to the South African Police Services. Cape Conference can confirm that a
staff member has been placed on precautionary suspension pending the outcome of further
investigation. As part of the conditions of suspension the staff member is not allowed on
the Bethel College Campus, nor allowed to make contact with any learners or staff
members of Bethel College High School.
It is the intention of the Cape Conference to investigate all allegations fully and respond to
the outcome of the investigation according to church policy and the relevant legislation
relating to this matter.
Because of the ongoing internal and external investigations, please note that the Cape
Conference does not want to discuss the merits of the allegations at this time.
The Cape Conference wants to state that Bethel High School and the Seventh-day
Adventist Church do not condone or approve of any form of abuse or violence against any
person especially those persons who belong to vulnerable groups.
Furthermore, the Cape Conference deeply regrets this unfortunate situation and condemns it
in the strongest terms. The Cape Conference supports the legal and social services in their
handling of this matter.
Our hearts go out to all those affected by these allegations. We will give our support to
them as far as possible.
The Cape Conference is imploring individuals to allow the investigation to run its course.
Further note that the Cape Conference will respond appropriately to the outcome of the
investigation. Due to the sensitive nature of this matter and to protect the identity of the
victims, the Cape Conference is requesting people to provide us with any information
regarding these allegations which could assist the investigation, rather than to take the
matter to social media or discuss the merits on other media platforms. Such discussions are
an invasion of the victims' privacy and could threaten their safety.
For any queries or information contact Danie Potgieter (Executive Secretary of the Cape
Conference)—secretariat@cc.adventist.org / 064752 4983.

Kind regards,

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
CAPE CONFERENCE

Copies: Dr J Papu - CC President


Br RM Raelly - CC Chief Financial Officer