Sentencing delayed again in Parktown Boys assault trial

20 September 2018 - 13:00 By Naledi Shange
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

Collan Rex‚ the former water polo coach at Parktown Boys’ High who was found guilty of sexually assaulting boys at the prestigious Johannesburg school‚ will have a few more weeks of freedom.

Rex appeared before the High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Thursday‚ but his matter was quickly postponed because his pre-sentencing report was still outstanding. 

Prosecutor Arveena Persad said she believed the report would be ready by October 31‚ meaning a lengthy postponement was on the cards.

Persad said the judge president would need to be reached and consulted about the matter. He would need to approve a date for when the matter could return to court.

Dressed in a dark suit with his gelled hair glistening‚ Rex rose to his feet as acting judge Peet Johnson postponed his matter to Friday for the decision of the judge president.

Rex hurried out of court while speaking to his relatives‚ who had sat with him on a bench outside the courtroom ahead of proceedings.

Rex is currently out on bail of R3‚000.

During the trial‚ the court heard shocking testimony from Rex's victims‚ who alleged that he had choked them‚ shown them pornographic material and performed sexual acts with them.

His victims were aged between 13 and 16.

The 22-year-old‚ who was also a boarding master at the school‚ 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 country.

However‚ he pleaded not guilty to a further 183 counts‚ which included 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.

Under cross-examination‚ Rex told the court that he did not know why the witnesses believed he had tried to kill them when he choked them. He described his choking acts as bonding exercises that meant no harm‚ saying "it was merely horseplay".

Delivering his judgment last week‚ Johnson found Rex guilty of 12 counts of assault and a further 144 of sexual assault.

He said he found Rex to be an honest and open witness who did not try to conceal evidence‚ adding that he accepted responsibility for his actions.

Rex was arrested soon after he was caught on surveillance camera fondling a 15-year-old in the school’s hostel in November 2016. He quit before the school could institute disciplinary proceedings against him.