Parktown Boys’ High School. Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Former Parktown Boys High School water polo coach Collan Rex on Tuesday told the court where he is facing charges ranging from rape to attempted murder that he realised that choking the children was immature.

"I was very immature and when I look back now I could have been more responsible and handled things better. I realise that it was childish and I should've stopped," Rex said while being cross-examined by state prosecutor Arveena Persad.

During proceedings at the High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court, Rex maintained that it was not his intention to kill any of the children. 

The 22-year-old former coach is facing charges of rape, sexual assault, sexual grooming and attempted murder. 

Rex told the court that he had also been wrestled by a matric boy and he had to signal that the boy had to stop and that it was common at their school to wrestle each other.

"Why did you not bring it up while giving your evidence? Why did you wait till I ask you?" Persad asked.

"I don't know," Rex responded.

Rex pleaded guilty to the 144 sexual assault charges of 12 boys. He was acquitted of another 43 charges on Monday by Judge Peet Johnson after some boys would not testify to substantiate these.

Earlier Rex said he did not know why a number of the boys would wrongfully implicate him.

He added that one of the boys would probably wrongfully implicate him because he did not get along with the boy's cousin.

"He would probably influence him. He was one of the bullies and people who did drugs in high school."

Persad put it to Rex that that would not be a reason for the boy to wrongfully implicate him.

Later Persad questioned Rex about a play dough penis.

Rex said the play dough penis belonged to one of the boys and he returned it to him after their homework session. He said he had to take it away because he felt it was distracting them.

During the trial, some boys testified that Rex tried to force them to suck the play dough penis.

The trial continues.

African News Agency /ANA