The former Bishops teacher accused of s.e.xual misconduct is still under medical care, her lawyer said after the school released a statement on the findings of its investigation on Monday.
“She is not at a clinic, but she is receiving outpatient treatment,” attorney William Booth said of the former teacher and sports coach.
He said the school had also not sent him the statement it had released on Monday morning, with the sight of it only coming after journalists sent it to him. “I still have not received the statement, despite two requests prior to today,” said Booth.
Earlier on Monday, school principal Guy Pearson said in a statement that the investigation by private lawyers had found that teacher Fiona Viotti was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct with at least five pupils.
However, she would not be disciplined because she had resigned.
Pearson said the allegations were made to him on October 10.
Viotti resigned and left the school the following day.
Pearson said Viotti’s lawyer had indicated full cooperation in a letter but had later refused a request for her to attend an interview with the investigators.
She was also not prepared to make any written comments on the merits of the matter.
Booth told News24 this was because Viotti was under medical care and “very emotional” at the time, but also because the school could not guarantee that anything Viotti told them would be kept private, and not released to the public.
“She wasn’t in a state to be interviewed,” said Booth.
‘She also has rights’
He added that the Bishops internal investigation was “not an inquiry” and that Viotti had the right to remain silent.
“She also has rights which have to be protected.
Viotti also faces an investigation by the SA Council of Educators, which registers teachers and deals with misconduct complaints.
This process could determine whether or not she can carry on working as a school teacher.
The Bishops Diocesan College in Rondebosch investigation was led by advocate Francois van Zyl SC of the Cape Bar and Graeme Dorrington of Dorrington Jessop Attorneys.
The finding was that, between 2013 and 2019, and while employed as a teacher at the school, Viotti engaged in sexual misconduct with at least five pupils.
No evidence could be found that the principal knew of this.
The investigators were also not able to ascertain with certainty to whom Viotti had sent videos or photographic images, after some – purporting to be of her – did the rounds on social media.
Viotti is the daughter of Dave Mallet, also a teacher and sports coach at the school.
Her grandfather Anthony Mallett is a former headmaster.
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