The sports academy in Protea Glen, Soweto, where the coach allegedly preyed on star schoolboy soccer players. Picture: Matthews Baloyi/ANA

Johannesburg - The soccer academy coach accused of the rape and abuse of 29 boys aspiring to be future soccer stars has died. 

The 34-year-old man, who worked under the Intercommunity Sports Academy died at the Leratong Hospital on Tuesday morning at 4 am. He was admitted to the hospital last Thursday after he allegedly ingested poison when the news of his imminent arrest broke.

The man was coaching boys aged between nine and 19.

A source close to the investigation told The Star that police arrived at the house the man was renting on Tuesday morning to break the news of his death to find the house deserted.

A number of parents removed their sons from the house last week after they were informed of what had happened to the boys.

One of the people who lived in the area and knew about the allegations said she had hoped that the coach would live so that he could explain himself.

READ: Soccer coach in suicide bid after boys' rape, abuse claims

"I'm not okay. I just heard now that he was abusing the boys. I wanted him to wake up to give me answers about what he had done."
The police confirmed that the coach died in the early hours of the morning.

A 17-year-old aspiring player, originally from KwaZulu-Natal told The Star he was raped by the coach after he was promised a place in the Kaizer Chiefs team.

“I came to the academy at the beginning of the year under the notion that I would play for Kaizer Chiefs. My family paid a monthly fee of R4 500 for accommodation and food.”

He told of the first time he was sexually abused by the coach.

“While I was sleeping with the others, I was called by the coach to sleep in the same bed as him. I agreed. While we were sleeping he would touch me in inappropriate places and ask me to do the same.”

The boy added that he did what he was told by the coach because he loved playing soccer.

Another teen said he was one of the lucky ones. “The only thing he did to me was physically abuse me,” he said.

* This is a developing story.  

The Star