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Gupta guest accused of sex assault

Inside the Superbowl, the reception for the Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia wedding. Sun City 020513 Picture: Antoine de Ras

Inside the Superbowl, the reception for the Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia wedding. Sun City 020513 Picture: Antoine de Ras

Published May 5, 2013

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Johannesburg - One of the guests attending the Gupta wedding allegedly sexually assaulted a young female Sun City employee this week.

The Sunday Independent understands that the incident, on Tuesday, was reported to Sun City management, who promised to open a case with police, said Cosatu North West provincial secretary Solly Phetoe and the trade union federation’s Moses Kotane local gender structure chairman, Koki Khojane.

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Khojane and Phetoe said the unidentified guest’s sexual assault left the woman highly traumatised.

Phetoe said the incident, which he described as attempted rape, happened at the five-star Cascades Hotel, where the guest had requested a massage in his room.

The guest allegedly attempted to drag the woman, who works at the Gary Player Health Spa, on to his bed, but she managed to free herself, according to Khojane.

Khojane said a Sun City security manager took a statement from the woman after the incident.

“We asked for her to be offered counselling and given time off to recover,” said Khojane, also the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union’s gender structure chairman in the Moses Kotane Municipality.

Khojane said the woman was touched inappropriately by the guest while giving him a massage.

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Acting head of Sun City Richard Hawkins would neither confirm nor deny the incident.

 

The Gupta family said on Saturday that “the family was unaware of the alleged incident until they were briefed on Friday.

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“We thanked the hotel management for the prompt manner in which they had acted once the matter was reported. The woman left the room immediately when the unwanted advance was made and security personnel were sent to fetch her equipment.

“The woman has declined to press charges. As a family, we are obviously hugely upset by the incident. We take matters of this nature very seriously”.

The Guptas came under fire this week after Sun City workers complained about racism.

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Guests are said to have asked not to be served by African workers.

“Workers experienced racism of the highest degree from the Gupta

guests,” said Khojane.

Phetoe said the Guptas struck a deal with Sun International that their guests would not be served by African workers.

Both Phetoe and Khojane said the Gupta guests complained that African workers smelt.

“The guests told workers at the spar to bath first. They said they wouldn't be massaged by African workers,” he said.

Even the drivers of the Gupta vehicles were either Indian or white, according to Phetoe.

On Friday, Cosatu met Sun City management after workers started protesting against racism.

Sun City closed its artificial beach, the Valley of Waves, on Worker’s Day for the Gupta wedding.

North West police’s Brigadier Thulani Ngubane did not respond to requests for comment.

[email protected]

Sunday Independent

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