Sentencing in Parktown Boys sex pest case to resume

27 November 2018 - 07:00
By Ernest Mabuza
Collan Rex, former assistant water polo coach at Parktown Boys' High, during a previous court appearance.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe Collan Rex, former assistant water polo coach at Parktown Boys' High, during a previous court appearance.

Sentencing proceedings for Collan Rex, the former assistant water polo coach at Parktown Boys’ High School, are expected to resume at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Rex, 22, was found guilty of 144 counts of sexual assault and 12 counts of assault in September. A number of boys from the prominent Johannesburg school testified how Rex had choked them during 2016.

Others testified that he had touched their genitals during that year.

In his defence, Rex said he had meant no harm choking the boys and said “it was merely horseplay”.

At the beginning of the trial in August, Rex, who was also a boarding master at the school‚ had pleaded guilty to 144 counts of sexual assault against 12 of the 23 boys who were complainants in the sex scandal.

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.

Delivering his judgment in September‚ Acting Judge Peet Johnson found Rex guilty of 12 counts of assault and a further 144 of sexual assault.

At his last appearance late last month the case was postponed until Tuesday because the probation officer’s report was not ready.

Child rights groups protested against the delay in the court proceedings‚ criticising the department of social development for failing to ensure its probation officers completed their reports.

“I am outraged regarding this postponement - everybody was ready to go ahead with sentence today and only the state social workers caused the delay‚” said Rees Mann of South African Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse.

Luke Lamprecht‚ representing Women and Men Against Child Abuse‚ said: “I am devastated for the boys and their parents‚ who expected this case to end today. Basically what happened today amounts to tertiary abuse by the state.”