In The News South Africa

Parktown Boys rape and sexual assault case postponed

JOHANNESBURG, May 10 – The case of a former Parktown Boys High School sports coach in Johannesburg accused of rape and sexual assault was on Wednesday postponed in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court for further investigation, as well as to prepare for the matter to be transferred to the High Court.

During proceedings on Wednesday morning prosecutor, Colleen Ryan, told the court that the State had drafted records and the matter would be heard at the High Court.

The 22-year-old student employee was arrested in November 2016 and was released on R3,000 bail a month later. He was arrested after the school discovered via CCTV footage that learners were being assaulted at their boarding facility.

The sports coach, who has since resigned from his job, is facing charges of sexual assault and rape.

The defence put it on record that a search warrant was authorised on April 13 this year in Roodeport and that a search was conducted May 3.

“The search must be done in the presence of his uncle, the accused, or his attorney, for them to point out which items could be searched. It wasn’t done in the presence of any of these people but his uncle was on the premises,” the defence council said on Wednesday.

The CCTV footage allegedly shows the coach touching boys in the common room of the hostel.

The matter was postponed to 11 July for further investigation.

Outside the court Martin Pelders from Matrix Men, an organisation that supports male victims of sexual abuse, said: “The most common trend is that this is happening a lot and it’s not being reported, in this case it came up because a teacher was going through CCTV footage.”

“There’s shame and boys starting feeling like they not men. It’s not acceptable for men to be raped. We need to start talking about it more. Unfortunately for these boys it’s sad but it will raise awareness. Parents protect their daughters and don’t teach their sons to protect themselves,” Pelders said.

He said that awareness needed to be raised as that would force courts to prosecute perpetrators.

Reports suggest that as many as 20 learners, aged between 15 and 17, were allegedly assaulted by the sports teacher.

Meanwhile the school governing body representative, Retha Adendorn, told the African News Agency (ANA) that following the discovery of what was happening, a meeting was held and the code of silence was torn up and parents learners were encouraged to come forward and assist with providing evidence against the student employee.

Department of Education spokesperson, Steve Mabona, said: “We can confirm that we have started engagement with the school. Our concerns was how can learners not come out with the matter”.

He added: “We are working with school SGBs to tighten their code of conduct. The miscommunication with the school and the department has been dealt with. We encourage learners to be free and report so we take necessary steps.

“Necessary checks need to be done when employing to make sure that all elements are considered to safe guard the image of the facility. We know that the school is doing well and currently on the online registration around 900 children want to go to the school.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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