Johannesburg - The former Parktown Boys High School water polo coach, Collan Rex, accused of a multitude of sexual offences against young boys, told the High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court on Monday that one of the boys who testified against him had gay tendencies.
After Judge Peet Johnson earlier Monday acquitted Rex of some of the attempted murder, sexual assault, assault and exposing a child to pornography charges, defence lawyer William Robertse called Rex to the stand to testify.
Robertse asked Rex about the incident between him and another boy who had told the court that he was invited to Rex's room to make him hot chocolate but who then later performed oral sex on him.
Rex told the court that at the time he was staying with Njabulo Zulu, who was also a dorm master and a rugby coach at Parktown Boys, and when he was not with Zulu he was at his girlfriend's house.
He said the boy had gay tendencies and had told him that he would cuddle with another old boy and told him that he loved him. Rex also said the boy once asked him how big his penis was.
"He liked doing weird things, like always wanting to hug me. I know it would be difficult for him to explore and it wasn't my place to tell his parents. My uncle is gay and it put him in a difficult place with his father."
However, the 22-year-old Rex said that the boy was lying about ever receiving oral sex from him.
Earlier, Rex told the court that water polo was a physically challenging sport that included grabbing of bathing costumes and being physical in order to gain an advantage over your opponent.
He said that he only grabbed the boys' costumes during water polo activities and not in a sexual manner.
"I might have grabbed him for learning purposes."
He said did not know why he was being accused of touching genital organs.
Robertse asked Rex about an alleged rape incident involving the boy. "I deny sticking my finger in his buttocks, in terms of me penetrating his anus with my fingers, I never did."
Rex further said: "I didn't expose any child to pornography."
Rex also said there was a misunderstanding between himself and a boy who had testified that Rex had said he didn't f**k him hard enough.
He told the court that a boy that said he was forced to watch 50 Shades of Grey was curious about what he was watching and kept coming to ask him questions while he was watching the movie so that he could see what he was watching.
During the trial, a boy had also testified that Rex had made a penis out of play dough and tried to force him to suck it.
Rex, though, said he had confiscated the penis-shaped play dough and had never asked one of the boys to suck it.
State prosecutor Arveena Persad questioned Rex about whether he felt the boys who testified against him were being honest with the court.
"They are lying," Rex replied.
Rex said he denied trying to kill the boys and was merely wrestling with them, and that at times the boys would initiate the wrestling.
He said from when he was in grade eight, it was a norm to be physical with each other at the boys hostel and that he understood that he had taken it further but did not intend to hurt anyone.
Persad put it to Rex that the boys had no benefit to lie about what he did to them.
"It was fun and games between us for two years where no harm was intended at all," Rex said.
He said when he was choking them he thought they would tap out and that would be the end of it. He said he panicked and tried to help them when they lost consciousness and didn't foresee the possibility of them dying.
"I should've acted in an adult position. I didn't want to leave the school and wanted to be part of it."
The matter continues on Tuesday.
African News Agency (ANA)