More claims emerge about Parktown Boys sex pest’s conduct

06 September 2018 - 13:58 By Ernest Mabuza
Collan Rex, former assistant water polo coach at Parktown Boys' High, during a previous court appearance.
Collan Rex, former assistant water polo coach at Parktown Boys' High, during a previous court appearance.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

More claims emerged on Thursday about how former Parktown Boys’ High School boarding master Collan Rex behaved around young boys at the school in 2016.

Two boys testified at the Johannesburg High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court in Ekurhuleni‚ alleging that Rex assaulted them on a number of occasions‚ grabbed their genitals and choked them.

Rex is facing 183 counts‚ which include one of rape‚ 110 of attempted murder‚ 55 of sexual assault‚ seven of exposure of pornography to a child‚ two of sexual grooming‚ and eight of assault. Two weeks ago‚ he pleaded guilty to 144 counts of sexual assault against 12 of the 23 boys who are complainants in the sex scandal that has rocked the school.

The boys‚ now aged 16‚ testified in camera and with the assistance of an intermediary.

They testified in a child witness room next to the court.

Although the court could see the child witnesses and an intermediary through a window‚ the children and the intermediary could not see anyone in the courtroom.

The intermediary relayed the questions by the prosecutor‚ the defence lawyer and the judge to the child witnesses.

Prosecutor Arveena Presad told Acting Judge Peet Johnson that if an intermediary was not used‚ the child witnesses would suffer undue stress.

The first witness testified that Rex had grabbed his genitals on about 10 occasions and assaulted him on about five to eight occasions. He also said Rex had choked him on a number of occasions.

“He physically pushed me around and he hit me‚” the boy said of the incidents‚ which occurred in 2016.

The boy admitted during cross-examination that Rex did not intend to kill him when he choked him‚ but maintained that Rex had assaulted him.

Another witness‚ a boy aged 16‚ relayed an incident where the school’s water polo team had travelled to Pretoria and back by bus for one of the fixtures.

The boy said his schoolmate relayed how Rex‚ who was the school’s water polo coach‚ had inserted a finger into his bum.

The state expects to call its last witnesses on Friday.