SSA – Review of Swimming South Africa’s Child Protection Policy – March 2019
Dear Coaches and Instructors
Swimming South Africa has embarked on a journey to review the Child Protection Policy and the Code of Conduct as requested by the membership. This will be done in the form of a (proposal) questionnaire conducted by Wits University Social Work Department under prof Ajwang Warria. If you would like to be part of the study, please complete the following:
A consent form which must be completed if you would like to be part of the sample and must be sent back to your provincial coordinator asap Consent Form 15 Mar 2019_HREC
On receipt of the consent forms, SSA will forward the questionnaire with the proposed changes on the child protection policy and the code of conduct.
Your assistance is highly appreciated as we all move forward to make an impact.
Manager: Education and Training, SWIMMING SOUTH AFRICA 124 Van Beek Street, North Wing, Ground Floor, Johannesburg Stadium, New Doornfontein Tel: +27 11 404 2480 Web:www.swimsa.org E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Press: South African sport under scrutiny over handling of child sexual abuse claims. Women accuse swimming coach of sexual abuse after nearly 40 years. Penny Heyns & Peers Urge Abuse Victims & Survivors To Turn To SportsVoice Safeguarding Initiative As SSA Confirms Inquiry Into Two Swim Coaches Under Police Investigation. Two coaches charged as sexual abuse claims hit SA swimming. DAVID ISAACSON | Turning a blind eye to sexual abuse makes you as guilty as the predator. SA swims in dirty pool of abuse. Swimming coach accused of sexually assaulting 16-year-old Pretoria teen. SSA and SASCOC fail swimmers after abuse allegations. Woman who laid rape charge against top swim coach wants Swimming SA to release investigation report. Sexual abuse victim opens up about swimming coach at press conference. Swimming SA urged to release report on alleged sexual abuse. Woman charges top swim coach with rape, wants Swimming SA to release probe report. Debbie Wade, 51, Speaks Out About Sexual Abuse As A Child Swimmer In South Africa, Saying Through Tears: “The Only Reason I’m Emotional Today Is That At Last Somebody Is Listening”. Elite swimming coach accused of sexual assault. Debbie Wade speaks out on sexual violence she suffered from at a hands of a swimming coach & wants justice. Bongani speaks to Debbie Wade, sexual abuse survivor. ‘I was abused and I was raped by Mr X from when I was 10 until I was 16’. Woman says sexual abuse claims against top swim coach ignored for 17 years. SWIMMING SOUTH AFRICA OFFICIALS INVESTIGATED FOR HANDLING OF ABUSE COMPLAINT. Sascoc mum on sexual abuse allegations levelled against sports coaches. ‘You’re called a liar’: Former swimmer again accuses coach of abusing her. More Allegations Of Child Sexual Abuse Surface In South African Swimming Years After First Being Reported. ‘You’re called a liar’: Former swimmer again accuses coach of abusing her. ‘I was also abused by a swim coach and I’m fighting for justice’ says survivor. Sport and child abuse, what every parent needs to know. Bishops Diocesan College sex scandal: Fiona Viotti’s case closed as witnesses refuse to testify.
Top coach accused after 40 years
WOMEN CLAIM HE SEXUALLY ABUSED GIRLS AS YOUNG AS 10 FROM WHEN HE WAS 13
Saturday Star 14 Nov 2020
by KARISHMA DIPA, SAMEER NAIK AND NORMAN CLOETE
A PROMINENT swimming coach stands accused of sexually assaulting girls as young as 10 years old from the time he was 13. Two women, who are now in their fifties, have opened a case of sexual assault at the Pinetown Police Station in Durban.
The women claimed they were sexually groomed by the swimming legend in the late 70s and early 80s. The man’s identity is known to Saturday Star but is being withheld to protect the identity of his alleged victims.
The women said their decision to accuse the man now was to prevent him doing the same to other young girls.
“He has given me a life sentence, the damage he has done to me is everlasting,” said the one complainant. She was a member at the same Durban swimming club as the man, whose mother had been her coach.
“She promised to make me an Olympic champion and my mother was so excited by the prospect, she jumped at the opportunity and decided to move our entire family against their will to Westville.”
She said the sexual abuse started with fondling and progressed to intercourse.
“He would threaten me that if I didn’t do what he wanted his mother would kick me out of the squad,” the woman told the Saturday Star.
She said her ordeal lasted for about six years.
“He would tell me that I must prove that I liked him by putting his penis in my mouth, and if I said no, he said he would tell his mother and that she would not coach me anymore.”
The woman said she tried to kill herself when she was 17 years old.
“No one wants to listen to me,” she said this week, “because he is adored by everyone.”
The second woman had a similar story to tell.
She said she too was coached by his mother several decades ago. She claims she was about 11 years old when the abuse began.
“At first, I was somewhat flattered by his attention because I was so young and I didn’t know any better and he was such a popular and handsome guy.
“I was close friends with his sister so he was always around. He often lured me to quiet places and fiddled with my private parts,” she said.
“One day we were in the pool and he asked me if it (his penis) went in and I was so scared that I just said yes.”
The man responded to the allegations via his attorneys, Livingston Leandy in umhlanga, Durban. Mohamed Mota, in an email to Saturday Star said: “Mr … has no knowledge of any allegations being made by 3 woman(sic) claiming they were sexually assaulted by Mr … as their coach. Your enquiry has no basis in fact and is denied. Publication of this allegation is unlawful and defamatory of our client’s good-name, standing and reputation.”
Luke Lamprecht, child protection and development specialist for Women and Men Against Child Abuse, assisted the women to lay charges against the man.
He said there was a third case still being investigated that could be added to the charge sheet in due course.
Saturday Star believes that this is not the first time complaints have been levelled against the coach and that a report was drawn up investigating them.
Yesterday, Swimming South Africa chief executive Shaun Adriaanse denied knowledge of the existence of a report.
“I know nothing and I, as the CEO, have received no complaint. Speak to the president of Swimsa,” he said in a telephonic interview with Saturday Star.
During the interview, Adriaanse accused a Saturday Star reporter of calling Swimming South Africa to offer a bribe for information.
“I was informed by a colleague that one of your reporters contacted our offices on Thursday night and offered a bribe for information,” said Adriaanse.
When pressed for the name of the reporter, Adriaanse had no comment. and said he would deny that he had ever spoken to Saturday Star.
“If I knew this was you calling, I would not have answered,” he said.
Saturday Star sent an email and Whatsapp message to Swimming South Africa president Allan Fritz but received no response.
Acting SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee chief Ravi Govender said the body was unaware of the allegations against the coach, but would now investigate.
“Since this has not been brought to our attention, as Sascoc, we have a responsibility to check with our Member Federation as well. Further as Sascoc, we have policies and procedures (the Safeguarding policy), to be specific, in place and view this allegation in a very serious light,” he said.
The formal complaints with the police coincide with a new safeguarding initiative by legendary South African swimmer Penny Heyns. The Olympic gold medallist has teamed up with several concerned parties to form the Sports Voice app, to encourage athletes from all sporting codes to report any form of abuse they might have encountered.
“We’ve seen momentum gathering since the Larry Nasser case in gymnastics in the United States and other high-profile abuse cases ranging from Afghanistan’s women soccer team to the unfortunate suicide of a South Korean tri-athlete,” said Heyns.
“There have been cases popping up everywhere and, in some way, we’re sitting here at the southern tip of Africa thinking we’re okay. I think this shows us we’re not okay.”
“While I cannot comment on this specific case, I think anybody who thinks this is the only situation like this in our sport and specific to my code would be ignorant.”
“Our society is toxic on such issues, so, of course that’s going to spill over into sport. We owe it to the youth of today to give them a safe environment.”