Retired teacher accused of abuse at Tony Blair’s old school arrested in South Africa

A retired teacher who BBC presenter Nicky Campbell said witnessed molesting a classmate at a prestigious Edinburgh school has been arrested in South Africa.

He appeared in Wynberg Magistrates Court in Cape Town after being arrested, charged with an indecent act involving a minor and an indecent assault on a boys’ primary school in Cape Town in 1988.

He has been released pending a further hearing and has dismissed claims against him. He has agreed to hand over his passport to the police.

Dozens of former students at Edinburgh Academy and Fettes College, Sir Tony Blair’s old school, have accused the 83-year-old of abuse when he worked at the schools in the 1960s and 70s.

The man cannot be named for legal reasons and is identified in court records using the pseudonym “Edgar”.

He is appealing extradition to the UK and is said to have visited a sex offenses office near Claremont Police Station in Cape Town on Monday morning.

Earlier this month, the BBC reported that “Edgar” was also the subject of a new abuse complaint from his days at Cape Town’s Rondebosch Boys School in the 1990s.

His identity was protected after the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry issued an anonymity order barring people who have been accused of abuse but not convicted from being named.

“Dozens of guys have come forward”

Last month Ian Blackford, the former leader of the SNP Westminster, tried to expose him by using parliamentary privilege to identify him in the UK so more victims could come forward.

Mr Blackford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, told the House of Commons at the time: “We now know that dozens of boys have come forward to police with allegations against the man referred to as ‘Edgar’.

“It’s important that others who have been abused by this man can come forward. It is right that his crimes against children be named, and it is right that he be named now.”

In 2020, a court signed an order extraditing Edgar to the UK, where he faces six charges of indecent, indecent and lecherous conduct and one charge of indecent assault.

He has launched legal attempts to prevent extradition, arguing that it would be “too harsh a punishment”.

After training as a teacher, he worked at Edinburgh Academy before joining Fettes in 1973. He left the company in 1979 after a boy complained and returned to South Africa where he continued to teach.

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