Former coach at Parktown Boys’ High, Rex Collins, covering his face after appearing at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court. File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - The defence in the trial against the former Parktown Boys water polo assistant coach, Collan Rex, put it to one of the witnesses in the High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court on Tuesday, that '50 Shades of Grey' movie was not a pornographic film.

Defence lawyer William Robertse put it to the second State witness that Rex was watching the film on his own and the boy approached him to see what was happening.

The boy told the court that Rex called him to watch the sexual scenes in the film while they were sitting in the common room.

The boy, who is currently 17-years-old and was a learner at Parktown Boys from 2015, said he knew Rex because he was a hostel master when he was a boarder at the school.

"He showed me pornography on his laptop... 50 Shades of Grey...and he bit me on my hand and he put me in a wrestling lock where I couldn't move. He would also grab our nuts," the boy told the court.

The boy became emotional and said he could not say anything more.

Later Robertse put it to the boy that '50 Shades of Grey' was not considered a pornographic film under South African law.

The boy argued that he felt that it was not material that he could view at his age because of its sexual nature.

Robertse argued that the boy was merely restricted from viewing the film because of his age but it was not pornographic. He added that '50 Shades of Grey' was only classified as 16 LNS.

Robertse put it to the boy that Rex was watching the cinema friendly version of '50 Shades of Grey' when the boy approached him and asked what he was watching before taking a picture and Rex telling him to move away.

The teenager responded: "I was told to sit with him and I couldn't take a picture because I only had a phone at the end of grade 9 because my dad wouldn't let me take a phone to school in case it would get stolen."

Robertse said that Rex would testify that he was watching the movie on his own in a corner with earphones on.

Judge Peet Johnson asked the teenager: "When a movie is classified as 16 you shouldn't watch it because its considered pornographic?"

The boy explained to Johnson that as long as there were sexual scenes, he considered it pornographic and that someone his age should not have been exposed to the movie.

Johnson asked the teenager asked why he waited a long time before making a statement to the police.

He responded: "I ignore painful incidents and when I saw the mark from where he bit me I remembered. Before this I had forgotten about it and was trying to put my life together." 

Later the State called the next witness who was an 18-year-old teenager from Parktown Boys, who was in grade 8 in 2014 and also knew Rex from being a water polo assistant coach and hostel master.

The teenager told the court that on several occasions Rex would come to their rooms and tell them that when they were choked they had to tell him if they could not breathe, although he would not always stop when he was asked to.

"When he was choking me I wouldn't be able to breathe. It happened at least 20 times in 2016."

The 18-year-old told the court about an incident where Rex had choked a boy and he lost consciousness for a few seconds before he let him go and shook him so that he would wake up.

"At first he [Rex] looked worried then laughed it off. I've seen him dry humping other boys and holding their genitals and telling them to whistle."

The teenager named other boys who he had see being assaulted by Rex.

Robertse asked whether he thought Rex intended to kill the boy who was unconscious.

The teenager responded saying: "I don't know what his intentions were." 

Matter postponed to Wednesday.

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African News Agency (ANA)