DURBAN – AN 18-year-old matric pupil from one of Johannesburg’s elite private schools took to the dock in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday, facing rape charges during matric celebrations in uMhlanga.
The teenager, tall and looking dishevelled in a faded hoodie and clutching a bottle of water, allegedly raped an 18-year-old woman who was known to him.
The rape was said to have taken place at a popular uMhlanga hotel on Monday. The hotel is usually booked out by matrics for accommodation at this time of year. The teenager was arrested on Wednesday.
uMhlanga and Ballito are popular party spots in KZN when thousands of matrics from around the country descend on them to celebrate the end of their schooling careers by partying at events held under the Rage Festival banner.
The alleged rape did not occur at a Rage Festival event, but allegedly in the teenager’s hotel room.
In court, it emerged that the teenager invited the woman to his hotel room.
“We had been talking for about three years; I know her,” he told magistrate Mohamed Motala.
With little detail emerging in court of what transpired during the incident, it was stated that the woman was not receptive to his advances, and he forced himself on her.
For his bail application, the teenager submitted an affidavit outlining his need to return home, to Randburg, to be able to apply to several different universities for his tertiary studies next year.
“My stepdad is terminally ill, and I help to transport him to hospital or babysit my little brother if my mother goes to the hospital,” he said.
Motala said the teenager seemed to come from a stable background, with responsibilities, and granted him bail of R3000, to appear again in court in February.
He also warned the teenager to make no contact with the woman, either physically or by e-mail, WhatsApp or on social media.
While the parties in uMhlanga officially ended last night, police are still investigating.
KZN SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed that a case of rape was being investigated.
Darren Sandras, speaking on behalf of Rage Festival organisers, said: “We have been made aware of an alleged incident at a hotel in uMhlanga that involved an 18-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man.
“The matter has been handed over to the local authorities and we cannot comment because the incident is under investigation. We are co-operating fully with all parties as they proceed with their investigation and we will provide support wherever we can.
“We take the safety of all festival-goers very seriously and we do not condone any acts of sexual violence whatsoever. We urge the media and public to reserve comment until a legal outcome has been reached through due process.”
Paul Rowney, spokesperson for the Red Frogs, an organisation that supports young adults, said they had been at the Rage Festival to offer services such as advice and basics such as water to party-goers.
“We urge young people to take care of themselves and we offer support in whichever way we can,” he said.
THE INDEPENDENT ON SATURDAY