Cape Town – Dave Mallett, father of the Bishops teacher under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct, has urged the Rondebosch school’s pupils not to "tiptoe" around him.
Mallett, a history teacher and in charge of rugby and surfing at the school, wrote a letter to parents after his daughter, Fiona Viotti, had resigned from the school where parents pay R260 000 a year for their children to be educated.
Viotti, who had been the teacher in charge of water polo, had resigned last week when allegations of a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old matric came to light.
He allegedly wanted to end it, but she refused and, after asking his parents to help, they informed headmaster Guy Pearson.
Mallett, the director of Founders House that’s home to 75 Bishops boarders, said in his letter: “Thanks very much for the messages of support we have received in the wake of the devastating events involving my daughter, Fi, and our family as a whole.
“Tough times ahead, no doubt – but I’ll be soldiering on, supporting my family as best I can … and sticking to my post in Founders House, too.
“I’ve just met with the lads to say that, as far as is possible, I need them to keep their heads down (don’t tiptoe around me!) and try to adopt a ‘business as usual’ approach. I can’t let this derail their final term …
“Obviously Fiona’s health and safety is our priority right now and we will be doing all we can to help her pull through this.”
Pearson told parents last week: “We understand that there will be lots of questions but please appreciate that this is a matter which needs to be managed with utmost sensitivity and I cannot share more information at this stage.”
Attorney William Booth has rubbished claims that Viotti, who married Pavo Viotti last September, had left the country.
“She has not left the country, I do not know where this misinformation comes from. There are no criminal charges laid. Basically there is no basis for such charges,” said Booth.
There were also reports Viotti had allegedly sent nude pictures of herself and sexually explicit videos, to pupils.
Booth said if there were videos, then another aspect was “how you came (to be) in possession of the video or anybody got in possession of the video”.