Parktown Boys' High School sexual assault case postponed

2017-05-10 11:48
School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - The sexual assault case against a Parktown Boys' High School assistant sports coach was on Wednesday postponed by the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court for further investigation.

The 22-year-old former assistant water polo coach and assistant boarding master, who is accused of allegedly sexually grooming children, sexual assault and assault, appeared briefly before Magistrate Carlo Labuschagne.

The Sunday Times reported this weekend that more than 20 pupils, aged between 15 and 16, had accused him of sexual assault.

When the man, who cannot be identified, walked into court 13, he was wearing sunglasses and covered his face with a black hoodie.

Prosecutor Colleen Ryan asked if the matter could be postponed to July 11 for further investigation.

Department informed

The man's attorney, Clifton Symes, did not object, but put it on record that an illegal search and seizure operation took place at his client's Roodepoort home on May 3. The search was authorised on April 13.

The accused's bail R3 000 was extended.

The school's governing body on Monday denied claims that it never informed the Gauteng education department about the sexual assault claims.

The school immediately informed its governing body and police, SGB chairperson Nicholas Greyling said in a statement.

On November 3, 2016, a teacher looking at CCTV camera footage of the school's hostel, saw the man making inappropriate physical contact with a boy in a common room. Police were contacted and the alleged perpetrator was arrested that evening.

The Gauteng education department was informed the following day, on November 4, Greyling said.

"The school banned him from the property pending a hearing, but he resigned with immediate effect."

Counselling and psychological support were provided to the pupils and the school was keeping parents informed.

A senior official with the department's psychological services visited the school and was working closely with it. The school was ensuring "maximum protection" for the affected pupils.

Greyling said the school did not tolerate crime or threats to its pupils.

"We are co-operating with authorities to ensure the full might of the law is enforced."

The department on Monday said it would find out why the school had failed to report the matter and the extent of the sex abuse at the school.

"The department became aware only after the issue became public. The failure by the school to report these serious allegations smacks of an attempt to sweep them under the carpet."

Read more on:    johannnesburg  |  child abuse  |  education  |  crime

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