PMB ‘guru’ held for assault

2016-07-05 11:55
A series of texts sent from a teenager locked in a bathroom, begging her aunt for help while a Northdale guru allegedly raped her older sister at his home at the weekend.

A series of texts sent from a teenager locked in a bathroom, begging her aunt for help while a Northdale guru allegedly raped her older sister at his home at the weekend. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A prominent Pietermaritzburg “guru” will appear in court on Tuesday after he allegedly assaulted and raped a teenager at the weekend.

The guru, who the teenager (19) apparently considered as a close family friend and spiritual guide, was arrested on Sunday morning by Mountain Rise detective and Combined Action Team member Warrant Officer Ravi Pather.

A source close to the family of the victim described the harrowing ordeal, saying she cannot believe the guru (32), who the teenagers trusted as “part and parcel” of their family, was capable of rape.

According to the source, the sisters were fetched from the Liberty Mall on Saturday evening by the guru and their aunt, with whom they were staying for the weekend.

After returning to the aunt’s Northdale home, where they were “chatting, laughing and joking”, it is believed the guru asked for the teenagers to accompany him to his home, also in Northdale. The source said the guru allegedly wanted the sisters to cook him a meal before returning them to their aunt’s house.

“He [the guru] is with the family almost every weekend and takes the girls out regularly. He was like a son to us, so we never suspected anything and agreed,” the source said.

Just before 2 am, the aunt started receiving frantic text messages from her 16-year-old niece, the victim’s younger sister, pleading to be fetched from the guru’s house.

“He is going to rape us … she’s only screaming … please come fast,” the texts read.

Without a car of her own, it is believed the by now hysterical aunt called for a taxi and rushed to the guru’s house. According to the source, the sisters were found “shaking, shivering and clinging onto each other”.

They were taken back to their aunt’s house where they broke down and described what had happened.

It is believed once the guru got the pair into his home, he allegedly became intoxicated, put on music and forced the sisters to dance with him.

When they refused, it is believed the guru flew into a fit of rage, and the sisters locked themselves in the bathroom to escape him. With the man allegedly banging on the door, the victim, in an attempt to save her younger sister, left the bathroom to confront the man, locking her sibling inside and throwing away the key.

According to Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joshua Maistry, the guru then allegedly grabbed the victim and pushed her into his bedroom, where he raped her.

According to the source, the man allegedly bound the teenager’s hands and feet and gagged her with a shirt, allegedly hitting, scratching and biting her in the process. At the time, the victim’s sister could hear her screams from the bathroom, and continued messaging her aunt for help.

A police source said the victim was taken to the Edendale Hospital where, after an examination, a doctor confirmed she had been raped.

Maistry said police started their investigation on Sunday morning “by looking into the circumstances surrounding the incident”, and interviewing the victim and her sister.

“Some of the people in the community stated that the suspect was a known priest who lives in the area. Warrant Officer Ravi Pather was able to trace [him] to a family residence,” Maistry said. “He was positively pointed out by the suspect and was apprehended and is still in custody pending his court appearance.”

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  assault  |  arrest  |  rape

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