A young boy became tearful on Tuesday after reading a letter which he allegedly wrote by himself vividly describing what his former school guidance counsellor, Darren Goddard, did to him.
Goddard’s advocate, Shane Matthews, questioned the youngster in the Pietermaritzburg high court about foul language used in the letter.
Matthews said: “The language in the letter is bad. Where did you learn this language? Before you wrote the words, where did you hear them? Who uses words like that?”
The boy — who was allegedly raped and sexually assaulted by Goddard — began hyperventilating, said the intermediary who was sitting with him in another room.
She told the court it seemed he was unable to register what was being asked.
Matthews then continued, asking him why he did not tell the court all the things he said in the letter. To the court, he left out many details that were included in the letter about what Goddard had allegedly done to him.
The child agreed with a suggestion by Matthews that he was “cross” when he wrote the letter. The boy insisted that what he said in the letter was the truth.
A third boy is now on the witness stand. Aged 12 years old, he said he was counselled by Goddard from the time he was in Grade 1 until Grade 3 so that he could “study and learn better”.
Asked by advocate Attie Truter to tell the court everything that happened in Goddard’s office, he said Goddard would force him to sit on his lap.
During these times, he could feel Goddard’s private parts “pushing through his clothes”. He added that Goddard would wrap his hands around his chest and “squeeze” him.
The boy said he had never said anything to Goddard when this happened.
“I was scared because he will slap me or say something mean about me or something like that … because he is a grown man and I am just a child,” he said.
The boy also told of “games” he and Goddard would play, including hide and seek. “We played hide and seek. I would hide under the table and he would kick me in the stomach and pass my private parts,” said the boy. He also spoke about a game called “zombie”. Goddard would lie on the floor and grab his ankle and pull him down. Sometimes he would pull the boy to the ground and lie on top of him, said the child.
“I felt so scared, I could not move a muscle, but only my arms … sometimes I felt his private parts … I would scream, but not like a girl … I would say, like please get off me and he would,” he said.
The boy added that once Goddard gave him a yellow tablet. He did not know what it was and pretended to swallow it. But when Goddard was not looking, he threw it out the window.
He also said that just before he would leave the office, Goddard would put his fingers inside his shorts and underpants and shove a finger where it did not belong. Although it was painful, he said he was too scared to say anything.