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06 October 2011 at 22:15 - Posted by Anonymous

Girl dragged from beach and gang-raped


Philani Mdluli, a manager with IPSS security company, points to the spot where a young Pretoria couple were attacked on the North Coast on Tuesday. Security on the beach in the vicinity of the Princes Grant resort has been tightened since the incident.	P

A massive manhunt is on the go on the North Coast for three men who dragged a petite teenage holidaymaker off the beach and gang-raped her.

The 16-year-old Pretoria schoolgirl, who cannot be named, was on holiday with her parents and 18-year-old boyfriend at the Prince’s Grant resort near Blythedale Beach.

Now security has been stepped up on the beach, with guards stationed at the resort’s gate, and signs are being prepared, to warn people not to stray too far.

The resort has also put up a reward for information leading to arrests.

The incident occurred at lunchtime on Tuesday when the young couple, carrying just sunglasses and towels, decided to take advantage of a break in the cold weather and walk up the beach in the direction of Zinkwazi.

Dylan Meyrick, owner of IPSS, which runs the security at the golf estate, said the couple walked about a kilometre up the beach and were sitting on towels when they were accosted by three knife-wielding young men.

“They stabbed the boyfriend in his leg and then used the towels to tie up his arms and legs. They then dragged his girlfriend down the beach and then up a pathway into the bushes.”

After about 20 minutes, the boyfriend freed his legs. With his hands still tied behind his back, he ran back to Prince’s Grant and raised the alarm.

Because of the overgrown, bushy terrain in the area, Meyrick contacted Flight Training Services at Virginia Airport and pilots Warren Grace, Dale Roux and Samantha Meyrick took to the skies.

“It is so dense, she could have been anywhere,” Grace said yesterday. “We left at about 1.20pm and searched the beach for a while, flying sometimes at 100 feet.”

He said he could see the search vehicles on the ground and they were eventually alerted that the teenager had been found almost 2km inland in the Nonoti area by two local teenagers who stumbled across her.

Their father, Michael Gumede, said the girls had been on their way to the beach – something he would never allow them to do again.

“They went over the hill towards the sea and came across this little girl, crying and asking for help. She told them she had been raped and she was worried about her boyfriend.

“My daughters brought her to me at home… she was crying and talking about this boyfriend.

“I called the (KwaDukuza) police three times and spoke to people, but nobody said they would come. They didn’t even ask for my address,” he said.

“I asked her if they (her attackers) had guns and she said they had knives. I have a bit of self-defence (training) so I said to her, ‘Let’s go and find your boyfriend.’ ”

Gumede took her in his car and drove down the road, where he came across Meyrick and his men, who were scouring the area for her and the suspects.

“She is tiny for her age and she was hysterical,” Meyrick said.

“She gave us a description of the men and the clothing they were wearing. She can remember quite a lot of detail.

“We were able to tell her that her boyfriend was okay and had raised the alarm.”

Meyrick said they were both taken to a local hospital where the boyfriend received stitches.

Both were released from hospital last night. Meyrick said that the family was “in shock”.

“They are okay and then they aren’t. Fortunately there are two people from Jessica Foord’s rape organisation with the young girl and they are helping her.”

KwaDukuza police took statements from them on Tuesday. It is believed the suspects are from the area. Last night police said two suspects had been arrested.

Meyrick said Prince’s Grant was offering a reward of R20 000 cash for information leading to arrests and a further R20 000 cash on conviction. Anyone with information should phone 082 552 5553. - The Mercury

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