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Sun City welcome less than warm

Fans angered by delays, treatment

JOHANNESBURG — A weekend show in the Sun City Superbowl featuring Bollywood stars was marred by a bomb scare, an attack on Shah Rukh Khan and a restaurant brawl, leaving fans angry and promoters concerned that the stars may not want to come back to South Africa.

Sunday’s Temptations 2004 show at the Sun City hotel and entertainment complex north of Johannesburg was delayed for more than three hours following a hoax bomb call from an Afrikaans-speaking male, police said.

The 6,000 waiting fans were not told of the reason for the delay and were ushered away from the entrances without explanation. Restaurants were packed with frustrated fans and, as tempers flared, a brawl broke out in one of them.

Earlier on Sunday, Khan’s face was scratched by a female fan who broke through the VIP security cordon.

The attack was later blamed for the stars’ refusal to attend an after-party for which fans had bought tickets. Lesser-known actors Chunky Panday, Malaika Arora and Zayed Khan turned up, but Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukherjee and Saif Ali Khan stayed away.

Angry fans said organizers had taken them for a ride, with some accusing show promoters and Sun City of collaborating to delay the show so that fans would spend more money on gambling at the casino and drinking at the hotel’s bars.

Organizers accused fans of not knowing how to behave around Bollywood stars.

“The audience in South Africa who love Bollywood entertainment need to learn how to behave. … Incidents like this scare away the stars, who will think twice about coming back,” said promoter Vikash Mathura of Showtime Promotions and Shasim Entertainment Enterprises.

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