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Lesufi relieved after Parktown Boys’ former assistant coach found guilty

The High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Friday convicted Collan Rex (22) on 144 counts of sexual assault. He’s also been found guilty on 12 counts of common assault.

FILE: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi looks on during the announcement of the top provincial achievers in Daveyton on 5 January 2017. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says while he has mixed emotions he's relieved the State managed to secure a guilty verdict against the former assistant coach at Parktown Boys Collan Rex.

The High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Friday convicted the 22-year-old on 144 counts of sexual assault. He’s also been found guilty on 12 counts of common assault.

Lesufi has welcomed the guilty verdict handed to Rex.

“I believe that they have managed to get the guilty version which is very important to us. Secondly, there’re lots of things that have been identified that I fear we might face when we go to the disciplinary processes that we have instituted.”

He says he understands why some parents may not be happy, particularly because Rex has been acquitted of other crimes.

“But if it was my child, I don’t think I would have behaved differently [from the parents]… it’s just that we have to restore an element of respect when you deal with some of the issues.”

Sentencing is expected to begin on Monday.

MIXED EMOTIONS

Parents of pupils at Parktown Boys’ High School will have to wait until Monday to find out how long Rex will spend behind bars.

There were mixed emotions in court from parents of pupils at the school.

This is because Rex was only found guilty on 144 counts of sexual assault, with 40 other counts falling away.

Many of those who attended Friday’s proceedings were visibly unhappy about Rex being acquitted on some of the counts.

Lesufi has reacted to the ruling.

He says he’s dealing with several problems at the school, including a so-called code of silence.

“We’ve instructed the school to remove other programmes in their calendar, like orientation.”

Friday’s judgment is likely to have a precedent, setting effect on how the country’s judiciary views crimes against children.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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