Rape allegations mar Rage Festival
Sexual assault: Teenager reports she was raped in Umhlanga hotel room
Police and organisers of the annual matric Rage Festival have confirmed that an 18-year-old partygoer was allegedly raped at a premier Umhlanga, Durban, hotel on Monday.
The girl reported being raped, allegedly at the Umhlanga Sands Hotel. The beachfront hotel was block-booked for festival attendees.
However, police had, by the time of publishing, not yet charged the suspect.
The incident marred the week-long Rage as thousands of teen revellers flocked to the coast to let their hair down after final exams.
Police spokesman Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed that detectives were dealing with a rape investigation.
"An incident took place on Monday at a hotel in Umhlanga, where an 18-year-old woman was allegedly raped by a known suspect. The suspect was arrested and will appear in court soon," he said.
Parents forked out thousands of rands for their children to attend the festival, with packages priced from R800 to R4,500 for a Black VVIP ticket. The sold-out Black passport, which was limited to 750, gave guests an exclusive VVIP Rage Festival experience with private lounges with bars and welcome drinks.
Priya Naidoo, spokesman for Tsogo Sun that owns Umhlanga Sands, confirmed "an alleged incident" in one of the hotel's rooms.
"Tsogo Sun condemns any and all acts of sexual assault. The safety of our guests remains our highest priority," she said.
Rage Festival spokesman Darren Sandos condemned the "alleged rape".
"Rage Festival takes the safety of its community seriously and does not condone any acts of sexual violence. We are deeply saddened to hear about this alleged incident.
"The matter has been handed over to the local police authorities and we cannot comment further as the incident is under investigation. The organisers are co-operating fully with all parties as they proceed with their investigation and we will provide support wherever and however we can," he said.