It’s nearly March 2015 and the news that my old head master Dieter Pakendorf, rector of Grey High school died yesterday. On a Google search of his name I came across an article about Steve Grobbelaar and his removal as teacher in the UK due to a paedophilia past in South Africa while at Grey. I nearly broke down when I read it as I carried the shame for over 25 years – I can assure you the victim was NOT alone.
I myself was a border at the school and fell into his web of trust as I came from a chequered past and was easy prey no doubt. My studies at this academic powerhouse of a school were awful as I was dealing with family and personal issues that should really have been dealt with by my family but alas they were 1000’s of miles away and so I floundered alone. Grobbelaar knew intimately what I was going through as he was the school guidance councillor and often would provide me sanctuary in his room to discuss my life and school woes and it wasn’t long before he persuaded me that he could hypnotise me to help me focus. In any event one evening after prep (homework) he escorted me to the prefab office at the rear of the school that he used as his office and there he hypnotised me in total darkness while standing behind me. In truth, unlike the other victims who have come forward I don’t remember everything however I am 100% sure he touched me and possibly masturbated behind me. I know when later I returned to the dorm that I felt strange and that I felt I needed to wash.
What makes this incident even more invidious is that I asked Grobbelaar if I had gone under and he said ‘possibly not, and we should try again another time’. Coupled with this event I was getting increased attention from parents regarding my poor academic performance and Grobbelaar acted as a go-between to them to allay their fears to which I was subjected to much psycho analysis on Grobbelaars part. I eventually snapped and asked him to back off and leave me alone as it was causing me a lot of stress. He recoiled with anger and fear, I remember it well.
Exactly a week later I was summoned to the Rectors (Dieter Pakendorf’s) office to find, Grobbelaar, another house master Jock Cullen and the Rector inquiring as to how I had another students clothes in my drawer. I defended myself alone by stating that I would personally escort them there and then to any bed within the hostel and they would find items belonging to other students as it was common place to share or borrow things. Despite my defence and honest truth that I had not taken nor borrowed the item/s I was given a caning and reprimanded and humiliated. To my mind to this day Grobbelaar had attempted to have me expelled (this was not my first run in with Pakendorf) as a way of making sure I could not implicate him. Furthermore I believe 100% that Pakendorf knew of Grobbellaar misdemeanours and did nothing about it as he feared negative press – Pakendorf himself a bully and racist who controlled the school with an iron fist to limit damage and manage with fear. I personally believe that Jock Cullen actually spoke on my behalf which halted my removal from the school, to which I am indebted to him.
Now I don’t speak to implicate Pakendorf in Grobbelaars actions however I do speak for the other boys who suffered at the hands of both of these bullys and the little assistance that was offered to boys who sought help and were mistreated and humiliated. It was wrong and must be noted.
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