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Johannesburg - The school security guard accused of molesting 54 pupils at a primary school in Soweto made his first court appearance at Protea Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Despite the staggering 54 victims that teachers at the school in Orlando East had identified, the State charged the 57-year-old man with three counts of rape and one of indecent assault. 

The accused wore a torn navy shirt, faded cargo pants and flip flops and looked dazed during the short court proceedings, which were postponed to next week to allow him time to apply for legal representation.

The man near the primary school, where he was recently hired to protect the pupils. 

He is believed to have molested at least 54 pupils. 

Read more: Sex predator at Soweto school allegedly molested 54 Grade Rs

Some of the children are now refusing to go back to school. 

The community of Orlando East was shocked when the man was arrested on Monday. 

Zanele Malinga, a community member, said: “I’ve known him for years and we even worked together ... He was a decent guy. I knew he had family problems but I never thought he was capable of doing something like this.”

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is expected to visit the school on Wednesday afternoon.

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The Star