Justice Alliance of South Africa

Man at centre of holiday camp abuse allegations was linked to death of boy in Zimbabwe

Fri 03 Feb 2017
By Premier Journalist

The former leader of a Church holiday camp who has been accused of abusing teenage boys had also been linked to the death of a 16-year-old, it has emerged. 

According to the Daily Telegraph, John Smyth QC moved to Zimbabwe in the 1980s where he allegedly continued to physically abuse boys at summer camps.

He was then accused of the culpable homicide of teenager Guide Nyachuru whose body was found naked in a school swimming pool. The prosecution was later dropped.

Claims against John Smyth were uncovered by Channel 4 News.

In 1982 the Iwerne Trust, which oversaw the Christian camp, was made aware of the allegations and compiled a report but failed to tell police, Channel 4 News said.

Smyth, who now lives in South Africa, has declined to comment on the accusations.

Archbishop Justin Welby, who had previously worked with Smyth at the camps said he was "completely unaware" of any allegations when he worked at the camp.

Victoria Jones/PA Wire


Lambeth Palace said in a statement that "although the Archbishop worked with [Smyth], he was not part of the inner circle of friends; no-one discussed allegations of abuse... with him."

It went on: "We recognise that many institutions failed catastrophically but the Church is meant to hold itself to a far, far higher standard and we have failed terribly.

"For that the Archbishop apologises unequivocally and unreservedly to all survivors."

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