The Alexandra Magistrate’s Court has acquitted a former Bryanston High School sports coach of several charges of sexual assault and rape.

The man, Aleshan Moodley was accused of sexually assaulting and raping a female pupil at the school. He was arrested by police in January 2019 after the learner and her mother reported the matter to police.

In April, through his legal team, Moodley brought a 174 application, seeking to have the charges against him dismissed, citing a lack of material evidence.

He faced 12 counts of rape, sexual assault and common assault – which he had pleaded not guilty to.

Bryanston High School management dismissed him in March 2019, two months after his arrest, after a disciplinary panel found him guilty of sexual harassment. Two other victims came forward but they chose not to pursue the matter criminally.

Bryanston High sexual abuse: WMACA reacts to acquittal

The organisation Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) has been following the court proceedings at the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court, more than two years after the suspect was handcuffed and is unhappy with how acquittal. They have also fiercely criticized Bryanston High School for its handling of the matter

“An acquittal does not mean someone is innocent but that the guilt cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” said WMACA spokesperson Ngaa Murombedzi.

“As an organisation we believe a verdict of not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt does not translate into [the coach’s] innocence. It simply means the state could not meet the burden of proof and that is an inherent flaw in the criminal justice system with single victim cases — where it is one person’s word against another, as it usually is in sexual assault matters”

Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA)

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Presh JM Reporter

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