9 Feb 2013

Protests at South African gang rape victim’s funeral

Demonstrators call for an end to violence against women at the funeral of a South African teenager who was gang-raped and murdered.

Residents in the small town of Bredasdorp in South Africa’s Western Cape chanted “enough is enough” as a church service was held to honour Anene Booysen.

The 17-year old was attacked while walking home from a night out with friends at a local pub last weekend.

Raped and mutilated, she was found by security guards at a construction site and taken to hospital, but died several hours later.

The victim lived long enough to say the name of one of the men accused of the murder – a close family friend.

Three men have now been arrested for the crime and are due to appear in court next week.

Her foster mother Corlia Olivier called for life sentences for the murderers, saying: “For what they did they must be sentenced. They must never come out, they must never come out, they know how they hurt her.”

She died like an animal. Slaughtered like an animal. Ellen Harmse

Miss Booysen’s foster grandmother, Ellen Harmse, said: “She died like an animal. Slaughtered like an animal. that is very sad for me. That is how she died.”

South Africa is notorious for its high rate of sex crimes, but the brutality of this murder has shocked the nation and dominated headlines.

Interpol has named the country the rape capital of the world and the government recently released crime statistics which showed that 64,000 rapes were reported in just one year.

Activists say many sex crimes go unreported and the real number could be much higher.

President Jacob Zuma expressed outrage, calling for the harshest possible sentences for the killers and a campaign “to end this scourge in our society”.

UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay said South Africa must tackle a “pandemic of sexual violence”, and said she was concerned about low conviction rates for rapists.