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Reverend sceptical over Anglican Church’s handling of sex abuse cases

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba says he has begun 'urgent consultations' to strengthen procedures for dealing with sexual abuse cases in the church.

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba. Picture: World Economic Forum/Flickr

CAPE TOWN - A reverend who says she was sexually assaulted by ministers in the Anglican Church is hoping that the church will improve the way it handles sexual abuse cases.

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba says that he has begun “urgent consultations” to strengthen procedures for dealing with sexual abuse cases in the church.

This includes setting up an advisory team in the different dioceses across Southern Africa to help bishops handle sexual abuse complaints.

Makgoba's announcement on Thursday was prompted by several cases of sexual abuse that have made it into the public domain in recent weeks, including damning allegations by award-winning South African author Ishtiyaq Shukri.

Makgoba has admitted the church is failing in its duty to offer healing to victims of sexual abuse and more needs to be done.

But Reverend June Dolley-Major is sceptical.

In 2016, Dolley-Major protested against the church's alleged discrimination toward her and its handling of her claims of sexual assault at the hands of clergymen.

“It’s wonderful on paper, having a psychologist, lawyer, counsellors and priests on team that can look into this. Archbishop always used to say, ‘We must not talk the walk, we must walk the talk.’”

She adds Makgoba that has not reached out to her since that time, but the archbishop says he's open to meeting with Dolley-Major.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)