Collan Rex, the former assistant water polo coach at the prestigious Parktown Boys’ High School, leaves the court. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The unavailability of the arranged intermediary to assist traumatised witnesses for the so-called 'Parktown Boys High School sex-pest case' has postponed the trial to Thursday.

This comes as the State this week revealed that Collan Rex, the former assistant water polo coach at the prestigious Joburg school, had allegedly shown a schoolboy pornographic material, which the learner said had psychologically affected him.    

On Wednesday, prosecutor Arveena Persad told the court that the arranged assistant, who, under law, needs to be a qualified and experienced social worker, was unavailable because of a clash of appointments with the Joburg High Court.  

The State advocate Persad was speaking at the Palmridge Magistrate's Court in Ekurhuleni, where Rex is facing 183 charges ranging from attempted murder, rape, sexual grooming and exposing minors to pornography.

Rex, who was also a hostel master at Parktown, has already pleaded guilty to 144 counts of sexual assault, which he admitted to have committed on 12 schoolboys aged between 13 and 16 from 2015 to 2016.

Startling claims were made by a 17-year-old boy on Tuesday that Rex had allegedly shown the learner the movie 50 Shades of Grey; an erotic romantic drama set in the US. 

The learner, who is currently a boarder at the school and cannot be named to protect his identity, told the court that Rex had made him watch the movie, which was on the hostel master's laptop, where the schoolboy said he saw private parts in 2015 when he was in Grade 8 which had a negative effect on him.

However, defence advocate William Robertse asserted in court that his client would testify that 50 Shades of Grey was not pornographic material, as it was classified with an age restriction of 16 (language, nudity and sex) in February 2015 by the Film and Publication Board (FPB). 

Robertse further put it to the witness that the learner was the one who approached Rex while the school mentor was sitting by himself in a corner with his laptop and headphones around his ears, where Rex was enjoying the movie on his own.

"When you (schoolboy) approached him (Rex) and asked him what he was watching, you took a picture (of the movie) and he chased you away," Robertse posited to the learner. 

The schoolboy, however, rejected those claims, saying his father did not allow him to bring a phone to school during the first few months of his Grade 8 academic year.

Rex has pleaded not guilty to the 183 charges. The trial will continue on Thursday. 

The Star