Former coach at Parktown Boys’ High School Collan Rex leaves the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court covering his face after appearing. Picture: Itumeleng English African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - More witnesses took the stand on Thursday and testified against the former polo coach Collan Rex who is accused of hundreds of crimes of abuse of schoolboys while he was in the employ of Parktown Boys High School.

The 22-year-old former coach is facing numerous charges ranging from rape, sexual assault, exposure of pornography to a child, sexual grooming and attempted murder. 

On Thursday, the state prosecutor, Arveena Persad, put a 16-year-old boy on the stand in the High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court. The witness said Rex would touch them while training them.

"In 2016 throughout the season he would get into the pool with us, touch our genitals and pulling our costumes and slap us with towels," the boy said.

He told the court that he thought it was was a norm at boys schools but he started being suspicious of Rex's actions when he would get physical with them.

"Usually on buses seniors and older boys sit at the back. They do stuff to the younger grade eight boys. I remember my friend complaining to me later that day that Rex stuck his fingers up his bum which I found unusual."

Another 16-year-old boy told the court that Rex would "choke" him a number of times and he would have to "tap out". He said these incidents occurred in 2016, the year he enrolled at Parktown Boys school. "He would push me around and push me into walls." 

Defense lawyer William Robertse asked the schoolboy if he thought Rex was going to kill him. "No, I don't think he was," replied the schoolboy.

The 16-year-old said he did not report Rex to the authorities because he was doing the same thing to other boys.

Rex has pleaded guilty to 144 sexual assault charges on12 schoolboys. 

However, there are 23 complainants aged between 14 - 16. All in all the accused faces 327 charges, many of which he denies. 

The matter continues on Friday.

African News Agency (ANA)