Karate coach appears in court

2012-01-17 13:44
Johannesburg - A Fourways karate coach briefly appeared in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges related to sexually assaulting his students during training.

The 68-year-old man's case was postponed for a decision by a senior prosecutor on whether the case should be transferred to the special sexual offences court at the Alexandra Magistrate's Court.

His appearance comes after his bail application was declined late last year.

The coach, who cannot be named until he has pleaded, was arrested in November last year after several of his students, including an 8-year-old girl, alleged that he had sexually assaulted them between 2007 and 2011 by touching them inappropriately during training at his dojo.

Denies allegations

During his bail application hearing the coach denied the allegations and told the court that his dojo was full of mirrors and had a window through which parents could watch training sessions.

He said it was impossible to teach karate without physical contact and that while it was easier to give instructions to older students, he often had to hold his younger ones to help them with posture.

His lawyer, Jacques Van Heerden read out statements by parents of other students during the bail application saying they had never witnessed any sexual assaults at the dojo.

The matter will return to court on February 3.

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