Willem Breytenbach, the former journalist and teacher who allegedly sexually abused and molested schoolboys in the 1990s, has been found.
“You must understand, at this stage I will not be saying anything,” he told Netwerk24 from behind a security gate at his mother’s house in Reebok, a small beach-side town close to Mossel Bay in the Southern Cape.
Rumours that he was discharged from a local hospital on Thursday morning could not be independently confirmed. Breytenbach was dressed in jeans and a golf t-shirt.
When News24 visited the house on Wednesday night, his mother said Breytenbach was in Port Elizabeth. His mother told Jackie Kruger on Thursday afternoon that Breytenbach was “in the rounds” and she was not hiding him.
He left Cape Town in a hurry a few days after News24 and Deon Wiggett published the first episode of My Only Story , a four-episode podcast in which Wiggett, a copywriter, reveals how Breytenbach allegedly raped him and sexually abused other schoolboys in the 1990s.
Breytenbach, a former journalist and magazine executive at Media24, closed his digital marketing agency, Lightspeed Digital Media, switched off his cellphone and deleted his social media profiles days after the first podcast was aired.
|Listen to My Only Story, Episode 1 HERE.
“There is something I witnessed the year I left high school. It has been more than 20 years since I resolved to forget it forever. And I did. Until now. At one time in my life, I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell. Join me as I dig into the past to try to stop a terrible crime being committed in December,” – Deon Wiggett.
Listen to My Only Story, episode 2 HERE.
He reportedly left for Reebok, a small beach-side town close to Mossel Bay, where his mother, who is ill, lives.
Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut confirmed on Thursday the police were investigating Breytenbach after Wiggett opened a criminal case against him on Monday.
According to police sources, the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Rowan Andrews, had been inundated with more names of alleged victims after Breytenbach’s name was revealed by News24 on Thursday.
Seven more men have contacted the police with their accounts of how Breytenbach allegedly groomed them as teenagers. Wiggett told News24 that apart from him and two men who gave statements to News24’s lawyers, 13 more came forward with allegations against Breytenbach.
The police will now consult with each person involved to obtain their version of events.
Breytenbach told Netwerk24 through a lawyer that he was not on the run and would co-operate with the police investigation. He added he would not be interviewed and was staying with his mother who is in her eighties and frail.
On Wednesday night, his mother told News24 she had not heard from him in a while. “I don’t remember when last I saw him.” Asked if she knew why Breytenbach had closed his business, she said she did not meddle in his affairs. “I don’t ask my children about their business.”
A man who identified himself as Johnny arrived at the house and told News24 he had last seen Breytenbach on Friday “when he left for Port Elizabeth”. He said he had rented a cottage at the back of the house.
The same man opened the door to the main house on Thursday morning. When asked about Breytenbach’s whereabouts, he said “go away” before slamming the door.
The final episode of My Only Story will be published on November 28. Warrant Officer Rowan Andrews is the investigating officer in the case. He has confirmed to News24 that the criminal investigation into Breytenbach is ongoing and has asked members of the public with information that can assist in the case to contact him on 082 729 8155 or 021 590 1001.
News24 is continuing its investigation into Breytenbach. If you have information about him or his whereabouts, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.