A shocking number of victims have reportedly come forward to reveal how they were abused by the embattled top media practitioner.
More men who allege they were raped or sexually abused by former teacher and journalist Willem Breytenbach have come forward, bringing the total to 41.
Of these, 17 victims were younger than 16 when Breytenbach allegedly abused them, seven were younger than 18 and the youngest victim was 12 years old at the time of the alleged incident.
These alleged incidents took place between 1983 and 2019. Of these alleged victims, eight were pupils at Grey College in Bloemfontein and 11 at Hoërskool Langenhoven in Riversdale, where Breytenbach taught in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Seven, including whistleblower Deon Wiggett, came into contact with Breytenbach in their teens while participating in a school newspaper project Breytenbach organised when in the employ of Media24.
Nine others claim Breytenbach, 55, abused them when they were his employees at Cape Town-based digital marketing firms Lumico and Lightspeed Digital Media from 2014 to 2019.
Breytenbach will appear in court again on Tuesday. According to Wiggett, three more charges were expected to be added to the charge sheet.
Breytenbach was arrested at his psychologist’s practice in Hartenbos near Mossel Bay in the Southern Cape on December 3. He appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on December 5 on two charges: one of indecent assault and one of sexual assault. He was released on R50 000 bail.
In November last year, Wiggett and News24 co-published a series of podcasts called My Only Story, in which Wiggett exposed Breytenbach as an alleged sexual predator, which ultimately led to his arrest.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by both information and kindness. I’m so moved by the amount of men and women who continue reaching out to me to tell me the podcast has helped them,” Wigget told News24.
“Even if nobody got arrested, it would have been worthwhile. I mean, it’s such a privilege that people are trusting me enough to tell me about the men who abused them, because some of those men, we’re in the process of catching. We’re doing all we can to ruin 2020 for men who f**k with children.”
Penguin Random House will publish Wiggett’s book, My Only Story, in September.
In his book, Wiggett plans to track Breytenbach’s trail of alleged abuse from Kroonstad, where he grew up, to Bloemfontein, the small towns of Willowmore and Riversdale, and finally to Cape Town, where he allegedly raped Wiggett and other men.
Wiggett will also, for the first time, tell his full story, including allegations of rape.