Parktown Boys code of silence enforced by matrics, court hears

The sexual assault trial of former water polo coach at the school Collan Rex was postponed to Friday for closing arguments.

The state and the defence in the trial of former Parktown Boys High School water polo coach, Collan Rex, both closed their cases today at the High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.

On Monday, Judge Peet Johnson acquitted Rex of 43 charges of the 183 that he pleaded not guilty to. Earlier in the trial he admitted to 144 charges of sexual assault.

The 22-year-old former coach is facing numerous charges ranging from rape, sexual assault, exposure of pornography to a child, sexual grooming and attempted murder.

Today, state prosecutor Arveena Persard questioned Rex about when Njabulo Zulu, who was a boarding house master and a rugby coach, stayed with him.

“I made a mistake that he started staying with me in March 2016,” Rex said.

During the trial, a boy testified that Rex invited him to his room to make hot chocolate and then later performed oral sex on him.

Last week, the boarding house director of Parktown Boys, Christian Bossert, told the court that Zulu began staying at the school mid-2016.

Persad put it to Rex that Zulu was not in their room when he invited the boy over.

“I strongly deny doing that to him. I explained that he did inappropriate things in terms of hugging and saying I love you,” Rex responded.

“If I’ve already pleaded guilty to 144 charges why would I lie.”

Rex previously testified that when he was not in his room with Zulu, he was at his girlfriend’s house.

Persad also questioned Rex about the Parktown Boys code of silence.

“It was introduced to new students by matrics and was a big thing in hostel. It was silence amongst students,” Rex said.

He said the code of silence was enforced for anything the matrics saw fit.

A number of the boys who testified against Rex told the court that they did not report him because of the code of silence and that they were scared of being considered “snitches” if they told on.

Judge Johnson asked Rex what he knew about wrestling and whether he had watched it on television.

“Do you know what a headlock is?,”Johnson asked Rex.

“Yes your honor,” Rex responded.

“Did you use that on the kids?” Johnson asked.

“I suppose you know that as a teacher you can’t alter kids’ ways at school, discipline doesn’t mean you must try wrestle the kids. Do you know that?”

“Yes your honor,” Rex responded.

Rex said he thought it was entertaining for him and the boys because they would sometimes laugh.

During the trial, all the boys who testified said that Rex had strangled them a number of times, while one even passed out.

Judge Johnson postponed the matter to September 14 for closing arguments.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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