Anglican Archbishop apologises for historical sex abuse
Publish date: 12 March 2018
Issue Number: 765
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa has apologised for its past wrongs and failure to address sexual abuse claims, says a Weekend Argus report. Archbishop Thabo Makgoba was responding to damning allegations of sexual assault of a former Anglican and award-winning South African author Ishtiyaq Shukri by priests at St Cyprian’s School in Kimberley. ‘As the Archbishop of southern Africa, I take responsibility for what has happened during the time of my predecessors and where we have wronged or failed anyone, we beg their forgiveness,’ Makgoba said. He said the church’s Synod of Bishops in Southern Africa was ‘shocked and distressed’ to hear of Shukri’s abuse. Makgoba said Shukri had been in touch with one of the bishops but was ‘unwilling to go into detail or name the person or persons who had abused him’. ‘While respecting his wishes, we usually urge victims of abuse to lay charges with the police and with church authorities. The police are often better equipped to investigate cases than we are, especially in cases which go back many decades and may have occurred in dioceses whose former leaders have died,’ Makgoba added. Shukri broke his more than 40-year silence in an open letter to the press on sexual assaults he allegedly endured from various priests at St Cyprian’s Grammar School.