Ex-Media 24 man faces four new sexual assault charges

Willem Breytenbach in the Cape Town magistrate's court in December 2019. Four new sexual assault charges have now been laid against the former teacher.
Willem Breytenbach in the Cape Town magistrate's court in December 2019. Four new sexual assault charges have now been laid against the former teacher.
Image: Twitter/Nadine Theron

Four new sexual assault charges were laid on Tuesday against former Media 24 employee and teacher Willem Breytenbach.

The new charges bring the total 56-year-old Breytenbach faces to seven.

Police requested a postponement for further investigations when Breytenbach appeared in the Cape Town magistrate's court, and the prosecutor indicated further charges were likely.

The case was postponed until March 30.

Breytenbach, described by Deon Wiggett, one of his former victims, as looking like a "bullfrog", wore a suit and tie as he sat quietly in a foul-smelling court gallery while awaiting his turn.

Wiggett, a former marketing copywriter, accused Breytenbach of raping him "in the mouth" in 1997 when he was 17 years old. 

His allegations were first made at the end of last year in My Only Story, a podcast which he published with Media 24 and which became SA's most listened to podcast by the end of last year.

Painful memories suppressed by Wiggett for years returned when his father died two years ago, spurring him on to find Breythenbach and expose him.

In a previous interview with SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE, Wiggett said he felt he had the responsibility to expose Breytenbach.

“I felt I had to do something to stop him and stop this incredible decade-long injustice from carrying on. I feel like I had the responsibility to do something because I have the means and the drive to stand up," he said.

"I blame my mother entirely. My parents raised us to be deeply moral and deeply ethical — if you see an injustice, you are the one who should do something about the injustice.”

Some of the charges against Breytenbach are classified as sexual assault as covered by the Sexual Offences Act published in 2007. Incidents which allegedly took place before then are classified as indecent assault. 


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