Cops probe rape of teen at ma­tric Rage Fest

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Jeff Wicks

PO­LICE and or­gan­is­ers of the an­nual ma­tric Rage Fes­ti­val have con­firmed that an 18-year-old par­ty­goer was al­legedly raped at a pre­mier ho­tel in Umh­langa Rocks‚ in the north of Dur­ban.

The girl re­ported be­ing sex­u­ally as­saulted‚ ap­par­ently at the Umh­langa Sands Ho­tel, on Mon­day.

The beach­front ho­tel has been block-booked for the fes­ti­val at­ten­dees.

How­ever‚ po­lice had‚ by last night‚ not yet charged the sus­pect.

The in­ci­dent has marred the week-long Dur­ban Rage Fes­ti­val‚ as thou­sands of teen rev­ellers have flocked to the coast to party af­ter their fi­nal ex­ams.

Po­lice spokesman Colonel Thu­lani Zwane con­firmed de­tec­tives were deal­ing with a rape probe.

“Yes, an in­ci­dent took place on Mon­day at a ho­tel in Umh­langa where an 18-year-old was al­legedly raped by a known sus­pect. The sus­pect was ar­rested and will ap­pear in court soon‚” he said.

Zwane said the man had been de­tained but had not yet been for­mally charged. It was un­clear ex­actly when he would be charged.

Par­ents have paid thou­sands of rands for their chil­dren to let their hair down at the Rage, with pack­ages priced from R800 to R4 500 for a VVIP ticket.

The sold-out Black pass­port‚ which was lim­ited to 750‚ gives guests the ul­ti­mate‚ exclusive VVIP Rage Fes­ti­val ex­pe­ri­ence with pri­vate lounges with bars and wel­come drinks.

Priya Naidoo‚ spokes­woman for Tsogo Sun‚ owner of Umh­langa Sands‚ con­firmed an al­leged in­ci­dent.

“Tsogo Sun con­demns any and all acts of sex­ual as­sault and the safety of our guests re­mains our high­est pri­or­ity‚” she said.

Paul Rowney‚ spokesman for the Red Frogs – a sup­port group for school-leavers which sets up at the fes­ti­val ev­ery year – said par­ty­go­ers should be mind­ful of their friends.

“For us, we al­ways want peo­ple to look af­ter each other and never leave a mate be­hind. Make this about your friends, and that you are safe,” he said.

“This is an iso­lated al­leged in­ci­dent – the ma­jor­ity of the revelry has been in­ci­dent free.”

Rage Fes­ti­val spokesman Dar­ren San­dos con­demned the al­leged rape.

“Rage Fes­ti­val takes the safety of its fes­tive com­mu­nity se­ri­ously. We are sad­dened.”

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