On Tuesday, a 17-year-old learner told the South Gauteng High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court that Collan Rex, a former employee at the prestigious Joburg school, had made him watch Fifty Shades of Grey - an erotic romantic drama set in the US.
The teenager, who is still a learner at the school and resides in the hostel, testified that Rex had shown him the movie, which was on the former coach’s laptop in 2015, during the schoolboy’s Grade 8 year.
Meanwhile, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was today expected to provide feedback on the Parktown alleged secondary victimisation investigation, which was conducted at the school by an independent law firm.
Yesterday, prosecutor Arveena Persad told the court that the arranged intermediary, who in terms of the law, needs to be a qualified and experienced social worker to assist witnesses, was unavailable because of a clash of appointments with the South Gauteng High Court.
The intermediary was re-quired, Persad said, to mitigate against “undue mental stress” on minors who were testifying in the trial.
Rex is facing 183 charges, ranging from attempted murder, rape, sexual grooming and exposing minors to pornography, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
Defence advocate William Robertse asserted that his client would testify that Fifty Shades of Grey was not pornographic material, as it was classified with an age restriction of 16 (language, nudity and sex) in 2015 by the Film and Publication Board (FPB).
The defence advocate read out a February 2015 statement from the FPB, in which the board had stated that it would release a “cinema-friendly version” of the movie in South Africa.
Robertse put it to the witness that the learner approached Rex while Rex was sitting by himself in a corner with his laptop and headphones, where the former coach was watching 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 put to him.
The schoolboy rejected the claims, saying that his father did not allow him to bring a phone to school in the first few months of his Grade 8 academic year.
Last week, Rex pleaded guilty to 144 counts of sexual assault, which he admitted to having committed on 12 schoolboys aged between 13 and 16 from 2015 to 2016.
Meanwhile, the Lesufi investigation is expected to reveal the extent of the secondary victimisation which schoolboys were allegedly subjected to following the lid being blown on Rex’s sexual assaults.
In February, a maths literacy teacher and the school’s then sports director, Nik Muiznieks, was accused by schoolboys of secondary abuse after he allegedly told learners who complained about the water polo coach’s supposed sexual violations that they were “evil” and “snitches”.
“Some Parktown boys are monkeys and that is not a racial statement; there are black monkeys and white monkeys,” Muiznieks allegedly said.
He resigned in February after being confronted.