Teen breaks down in court

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A schoolgirl broke down and cried in the witness box yesterday while relaying how former Grade 7 primary school teacher Neil Pieter le Roux had tricked her into believing he was right for her.

SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS: Former school teacher Niel Pieter le Roux in the East London Regional Court Picture: ZWANGA MUKHUTHU

The girl was testifying on-camera for a second day in the rape, sexual assault and sexual grooming trial of Le Roux in the East London Regional Court before magistrate Ignatius Kitching.

She told the court about three incidents where Le Roux, 67, had allegedly kissed and touched her inappropriately over a two-year period. The alleged first kiss was at the end of her primary school year.

She said she had told Le Roux that she did not like it and that he had allegedly apologised.

She said the second kiss was when Le Roux asked her to assist him with some of his school responsibilities.

“Mr Le Roux told me I must not be scared to take risks and that I must trust him. He kept on saying I need to take charge and be brave and that he was a safe place where I could try out things.”

According to the girl, this conversation took place inside Le Roux’s parked car while they were having a milkshake near an East London beach.

“I then put my hand on his knee. I was very confused. He leaned over, kissing my neck, my face and then my mouth,” said the crying girl.

She testified that later that day, while Le Roux was driving her home, she noticed he was filled with excitement and had spoken about a “breakthrough”.

“He would jokingly remark that nobody would understand what was going on between us and that people would judge me.”

The third kiss was the last time she saw him. It was on the day Le Roux was allegedly seen in an embrace with her by another teacher who had forgotten her phone at the school.

The trial was postponed to January 17 for further evidence. — zwangam@dispatch.co.za

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