‘Helpful’ man rapes teen

2008-12-19 00:00

Teenagers have again been warned about the dangers of out-of-control celebrations after an 18-year-old Westville girl was raped following a night out at a Ballito club at the beginning of December.

The girl is extremely traumatised and her parents have hired private detective Brad Nathanson to find the rapist. They are also offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Nathanson said yesterday that the rape victim and her friends were part of the controversial annual pilgrimage to Ballito to celebrate the end of matric exams.

He said the girl was at a club with friends. After discovering that her friends had left the club, she began walking back along Compensation Road to where she was staying. She was approached by a group of five youngsters who cautioned her not to walk alone.

One offered her a lift, but instead of taking her back to where she was staying, drove her to a deserted area where he raped her on the back seat of the car. When he finally drove her back to Ballito, he told her not to worry as he had been wearing a condom.

Nathanson said the suspect is around 19 years old, dark haired and tanned. He has a pock-marked face and wore smart clothes. He smokes Kent cigarettes. He was called Travis or “T” by his friends and the victim remembers two of his friends being called David and Jacks or Jackson. He was driving a black Citi Golf.

Locals warned that opportunists are well aware that teenagers are extremely vulnerable at post-matric parties, especially if excessive drinking is involved. They are also concerned that many rapes after matric celebrations are not reported.

Rape survivor and founder of Powar (Protect Our Women Against Rape) Jessica Foord said that young girls must remember that rape is never their fault no matter where they go or what they do.

However, she said that while teens are unlikely to take notice of adults’ or even parents’ warnings, they need to realise there are very real dangers. They should not place themselves in vulnerable situations, especially in places they do not know and where they do not have family to support them, and should make sure they are with someone at all times.

Police spokesman Inspector Michael Read confirmed that a rape case was opened at the Umhlali police station and is under investigation. Nathanson asked anyone with information to contact him on 083 250 2007.

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