‘He was a very cunning operator, very sneaky. He seduces in very subtle ways’
Adult victims of a convicted child molester have poured their hearts out to City Press after discovering that the man who abused them has been back working as a dentist for nine years.
Dr Izak “Sakkie” Geldenhuys (63) continued to work under licence from the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) at a “family dental clinic” in Midrand, Johannesburg.
The clinic’s shocked owners have ended his contract.
Geldenhuys was convicted three times for five sexual assaults on minors.
He abused at least seven boys who came forward, some of whom were abused in the dentist’s chair, and laid charges against him.
City Press is aware of at least six others who also allege he abused them.
His victims now believe he has groomed and molested many more boys, commonly between the ages of 12 and 14.
Among the boys, now men, who spoke to City Press are political columnist, writer and editor TO Molefe (38) and Albertus van Wyk (47), a former magazine editor and entrepreneur.
Van Wyk and Molefe’s accounts shed new light on Geldenhuys’ past in Balfour in Mpumalanga and later in Mahikeng in North West.
They claim the “nerdy” and “cunning” dentist “just couldn’t keep his hands to himself”.
Geldenhuys denied most charges against him, saying he was leaving dentistry and “going out of the limelight now”.
But with a recent Constitutional Court’s judgment removing the 20-year statute of limitations on sexual assault, the victims are considering opening a new criminal case against him.
Van Wyk told City Press that in the 1980s Geldenhuys established a practice after graduating from the University of Pretoria. As the town’s only dentist, he was held in high regard.
Van Wyk met a 28-year-old Geldenhuys when he was 11.
“He was a very cunning operator, very sneaky. He slips into your life, camouflaging himself as just one of the boys. He seduces in very subtle ways, he pushes things forward without forcing you,” Van Wyk said.
“I was groomed. I never felt brutalised but I think it had a massive effect on me psychologically. He gave money, he sponsored sports events, he was very generous, a family dentist ... He always had boys around him; he would entice them with gifts. Word got round that he had blue movies. It was a naughty thing sought out by teenage boys.
“I worked for him at his practice – a holiday job for pocket money. The first time I saw porn was there. He had a video camera that could play back tapes. He would invite me to his house to watch the videos. Slowly it became normal to go there and watch porn; he’d get you in the right state and that led to mutual masturbation.”
Van Wyk said he had tried calculating how many boys like him there were.
“A relative said he tried to fondle him; a very close friend of mine; it was so many of us; he tried his luck with all the boys. He should have been stopped in the 1980s.”
The worst thing, said Van Wyk, was that many adults in town knew of Geldenhuys’ reputation.
“They would warn you he’s into boys and that he might cross the line.”
Geldenhuys was arrested for committing indecent acts on minors and convicted of four counts in 1991.
Geldenhuys said of Van Wyk’s allegations last week: “I made a confession to the investigating officer; I pleaded guilty in court and was punished.”
He denied “doing anything” to Van Wyk’s relative or ever possessing pornography.
Geldenhuys left Balfour after the scandal. His three-year sentence was suspended for five years and he was ordered to see a psychologist for 18 months and serve 2 000 hours of periodical imprisonment.
But his licence would not be revoked by the HPCSA until 1996, allowing him to buy into a dental practice in Mahikeng’s Riviera Park suburb where Molefe met him.
“My parents took me to get braces to correct my overbite around 1993. I was 12 going on 13. I’d go after school. My mother went with me the first couple of times, but she dropped me off by myself thereafter and would pick me up when I was done,” Molefe said.
“Geldenhuys began his abuse by rubbing my stomach while he was treating me. I was reclined in his chair, facing up. He then moved his hand down to rub my penis over my jeans. I froze when he first did that. Surprise. Shock. Disbelief.
“Then, to my horror, my body reacted to his touch. I got an erection, adding confusion to all the other feelings. That was how it went during just about every session for almost two years. The longer it went on the more difficult it became to say anything.”
Molefe said he ended up feeling “complicit”.
“Geldenhuys would never molest me when anyone else was in the room. I remember one time when a staff member knocked on the door and entered, Geldenhuys immediately pulled his hand away from my crotch and pretended to have been examining my mouth. That told me he knew what he was doing was wrong. He didn’t stop, though.”
Molefe’s mother, he said, blamed herself.
“She was furious when I told her. She wanted to lay charges. I talked her out of it because it was all still deeply embarrassing.”
Geldenhuys did not respond to Molefe’s claims, saying he did not remember him.
Molefe has started a social media account and website called Justice Reclaimed and two other men from Mahikeng have come forward with accounts.
When the HPCSA suspended him, Geldenhuys found a job as a bus driver in Pretoria.
A Supreme Court of Appeal judgment details how, as a bus driver, Geldenhuys, then 42 in 1998, met a Mrs B on an evangelical tour of Mozambique.
He befriended her and she trusted him with her sons, aged 7 and 14.
The elder boy’s allegations resulted in Geldenhuys being found guilty of indecent assault and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
The boy testified that Geldenhuys sat next to him and began fondling him on the tour bus at an airport, in a hotel room in Mpumalanga, the parking lot of a church and in his Pretoria family home.
His parents were struggling financially and Geldenhuys would lend them money and buy gifts for the boys.
The boy testified that he kept what was happening a secret and when he was 16 Geldenhuys penetrated him.
Geldenhuys, who repeatedly denied the allegations in court, appealed his sentence, which was reduced to four years by the Constitutional Court based on outdated laws around the age of consent for gay men.
He spent four years in Pretoria Central prison.
But his licence has been neither revoked nor suspended since 1998, which is how he came to practise in Midrand for almost 10 years.
After City Press made an appointment with him, his employer said no more appointments would be taken for him and that she’d not received any complaints about him of a sexual nature.
She told City Press her dentists were not left alone and there were no doors in her open-plan surgery.
The HPCSA did not respond to questions last week.
Update Tuesday, December 04 2018:
On Monday, the owner of the Midrand dental clinic - where Geldenhuys had been working - contacted City Press and said that he has left the practice for good.
"Basically his services are now ended, due to obvious reasons, and also due to medical issues. All his patients that have existing bookings will be seen by other doctors in the practice."
* Molefe and Van Wyk are inviting people to visit justicereclaimed.co.za and add their voices to their campaign