The Cape Town diocese of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) has announced that a special tribunal hearing of the alleged rape case of Reverend June Dolley-Major will be heard later this month.
The president of the Diocesan Tribunal of Cape Town, Bishop Peter Lee, announced that the parties have agreed that the hearing will start on June 28.
A judgment is expected to be announced within 21 days, following the hearing. This may be the subject of a further appeal.
“In present circumstances, there can be no public access to the hearing venue. The requirement of canon 37:13 of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa that ‘the proceedings shall be open’ will be met virtually. The prayers of the church are asked for all involved,” read the statement.
Dolley-Major said the alleged rape took place at the Grahamstown Seminary, nearly 19 years ago.
“I’ve been waiting very long, nearly two decades. I’ve waited when two years after the rape, when I told my bishop, so I have been waiting since then,” said Dolley-Major.
Dolley-Major embarked a hunger strike in May 2016 and in July 2020 outside the residence of Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, to have her case investigated by the church.
“I have mixed feelings. I have waited so long for this date, and now it’s finally here. I am emotional, very triggered right now, and haven’t slept for three nights, because I am not only going to face my rapist, but I am also going to face the bishop that silenced me and psychologically abused me for over a decade and made me feel guilty about everything,” said Dolley-Major.
“I am relieved. I am happy. I will go through the process just so that I can prepare a safe path for others, who are victims and survivors, to walk the same road.”
Dolley-Major is contesting a gag order brought against her by the alleged perpetrator in the Cape Town High Court.