#ParktownBoys abuse case set to blow up
Johannesburg - A war is brewing between parents of sexually abused boys from Parktown Boys' High School and the Gauteng Department of Education as the aftermath of paedophile Collan Rex’s sordid acts continues to rage.
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi confirmed on Friday that a disciplinary process instituted to punish large-scale allegations of child abuse by staff at the school was on the verge of being dismissed due to parents' unhappiness and an uproar.
The disciplinary proceedings, which were instituted earlier this year, come in the wake of widespread sexual assault and physical violence on schoolchildren, which Rex committed.
Rex is a former Parktown water polo coach and hostel master and was convicted on Friday of 144 counts of sexual assault and 12 of assault on more than a dozen schoolboys between 2015 and 2016.
Rex’s guilt stems from performing shocking acts on children, including grabbing, squeezing and rubbing himself up on boys’ genitals, and repetitive choking, which led to two boys fainting. On Friday outside the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court in Ekurhuleni, Lesufi said he was saddened that parents of abused children opted not to continue with the hearings on Thursday and chose to walk out.
“The presiding judge of the internal process, I’m told, is on the verge of dismissing our case, which will be a sad day if it proceeds that way.”
The department commissioned two forensic investigations into the school, the second of which- Lesufi said- had findings and evidence which the first report lacked.
In both reports, several teachers were implicated in frequent physical assault, bullying, racism and a slew of other heinous victimisation of learners - a situation that was blown wide open by Rex’s lewd deeds.
On Sunday, an irate parent said Lesufi was being misled because the hearing’s chairperson had booted parents out of the proceedings for questioning the validity of the report being used during the sitting.
The Star has seen email communication between parents and a lawyer in which the disgruntled elders ask for legal advice to use against the MEC.
The Star has also established that parents were unhappy that the Fasken law firm report, the first one done and released in April, was being used as the foundation for the hearings.
One parent dismissed the first report because it has not interviewed the teenager extensively and the charge sheet drawn up was incorrect. Lesufi said the parents had the wrong impression of the disciplinary proceedings and that the department couldn't reject the Fasken report because teachers had been dismissed based on it.
However, two parents disputed that action had been done against implicated teachers, with one father confronting Lesufi outside court on Friday and asking why a particular teacher was still at Parktown.
In response to the confrontation, Lesufi said: "I'm on their side; I feel their pain and I feel their frustration. I really believe that if it was my child, I wouldn't have behaved differently."