"Like all jokes, not everyone will like them."
This was the response from a 16-year-old boy rejecting claims that the repeated strangling he allegedly suffered at the hands of admitted sex pest Collan Rex was a joke, where no harm was intended.
Advocate William Robertse, who is Rex's lawyer, has maintained throughout the trial that the 94 attempted murder charges his client faces for supposedly choking schoolboys until they passed out was not an intention to kill but, rather, a "normal" practice of "playing" with learners.
Rex, a 22-year-old former Parktown Boys High School water polo coach and hostel master, is facing 183 charges ranging from attempted murder, rape, sexual assault, sexual grooming and exposing minors to pornography.
The accused has already pleaded guilty to 144 counts of sexual assault in a reign of terror which lasted from 2015 to 2016 targeting boys aged between 13 and 16.
On Wednesday morning at the South Gauteng High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court, the 16-year-old boy, who is still at Parktown, testified that Rex had "strangled" him on roughly 10 occasions and had told the learners that this was to bond them as the teens would be required to fight for each other.
"On his was back from water polo practice, he (Rex) would start hitting and strangling us. I wasn't able to free myself (from the strangling), I would require the help of my friends to help me," the pint-sized boy testified.
Asked by defence Advocate Robertse whether he thought Rex was trying to kill the learner, the boy responded: "I don't think so. But it was uncomfortable when he did so -- I didn't like it at all."
Robertse further asserted that Rex's intentions were to bond the boys and was just playing but the boy rejected those claims.
"Whether he (Rex) was playing jokes or not, I did not like them at all. Like all jokes, not everyone will like them," the small-framed learner responded.
The trial continues.