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Johannesburg - A man is due to appear in court on Monday after a shooting at the H2O party in Boksburg this weekend.
Police say the drama unfolded just after 8pm on Saturday at the Wild Waters Complex, where a reported 15 000 people were gathered for the dance festival.
“A person allegedly fired shots in the crowd, injuring one victim,” said police spokeswoman Katlego Mogale.
Another person was injured when he was hit with the gun.
Hannes Bosman, who was at the party, said on Twitter there were “3 shots just after 8 in the vvip area”.
Police arrived on the scene and arrested the suspected shooter, a man said to be in his late thirties.
His licensed firearm was confiscated and he is due to appear in the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The Star was unable to get hold of event organisers or management of the Wild Waters Complex on Monday morning. Weapons are not allowed at the party and it is unclear how the gun passed through the security checks.
H2O’s PR officer Samantha Emmenes commented via Twitter: “This is false information no one was shot. No one is in hospital” and then later added: “No one was wounded. That is incorrect information”.
Somebody tweeting as @MedixGauteng responded: “One of my medic friends transported a patient that was shot there. How can you say there wasnt a shooting?”
On the official H2O Facebook fanpage, moderators said: “One isolated incident did take place at the H2O Africa event. However the SAPS were on scene immediately to apprehend the culprit and no one was hurt or injured. As always our commitment, first and foremost, is to the safety and security of our partygoers.”
Tanya Paine then responds to the posts asking about thefts and why a gun was allowed into the venue.
“I personally have never heard of so many thefts at an H2O before. As for the shooting, whether people got hurt or not is besides the fact, there was a person with a gun in the venue. That’s still rather shocking as security are supposed to be looking for those items on entry.”
The moderator then responded to Paine saying she was not commenting on fact.
“In 15 years of attending H2O events I have never once lost anything or had anything stolen. So as much as we step up security time and again to prevent this kind of thing it is a public event and we cannot police all 15 000 of you. It is also every individual’s responsibility to look after his/her personal belongings,” the moderator said.
This is not the first time violence has broken out at an H2O party. In April last year, a man was stabbed in the neck with a glass bottle.
At the time, organisers said the stabbing was “an isolated incident”. Then, too, partygoers complained on Facebook of fights, drug users, overcrowding and theft.
Partygoers have their say:
* Yolanda Bosman tweeted: “WTF, @H2O_party how can some1 bring a gun in & start shooting, really I ask??. how can that b #H2Omemmories. Where’s the search at gates?”
* Hannes Bosman tweeted: “It didn’t effect a great party although most people don’t know about it, there is a lot of unanswered questions!!”
* On the H2O Facebook page, Migz Keyser wrote: “Altough yesterday was great I must agree with many people… Copious amounts of phones were stolen mine being one of them. I know H20 isn’t to balme, its the idiots that decide its a free for all when it comes to other peoples belongings. but its still been the most dodgey H20 experience many people have had. Also whats the point of saying ID is needed if its not even checked?!?!”
* Shonleigh Dreghorn added: “Every comment about the gun being shot in VVIP and every question about it gets deleted. Makes me more curious. Who knows what happened? By far the most dangerous and edgy H20. Every second person was having their phone stolen. I never smelled so much weed before. The parking situation for VIP was a mess. A parking attendant tried to jump into my car and was forcing me their direction. What happened?”
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