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THE brutal rape and murder of Anene Booysen had caused shock and outrage among the community, a Bredasdorp magistrate said yesterday in refusing bail to one of the men arrested for the crime.
Jonathan Davids, 22, bowed his head and stared in disbelief as he was denied bail yesterday, a decision which shocked his supporters, who had thought he would be set free.
Just after 4pm, after reviewing all the evidence from the State and the defence, magistrate Graeme Cupido said Davids had not provided the court with exceptional circumstances for his release and said he could not ignore the public outrage over Booysen’s fate.
Davids and his co-accused, Johannes Kana, are the only two arrested for the crime on February 2 but Booysen, 17, had said about five or six other men were involved.
She was found severely beaten and disembowelled at a construction site. Earlier she had spent several hours at a pub. Kana and Davids confirmed they had been at the same pub.
She said “Zwai and his friends” hurt her, and then died in Tygerberg Hospital. Over the past two days the court heard that Davids’s nickname was Zwai and that he knew Booysen very well.
In his ruling, Cupido said: “All factors in determining exceptional circumstances for release count against you.” He said Davids did not have a fixed address or any children that he was responsible for.
Cupido said because many of the witnesses were known to Davids, he believed that he could speak to witnesses if he was released.
“There is no doubt that the brutal nature of the crime has caused shock and outrage among the community. The court is aware of what is happening outside. It is very clear that this incident has not only shocked Bredasdorp but that violence against women and children is very serious. We cannot be blind to violence against women and children,” Cupido said.
He added that it was not enough for the defence to say the State’s case
was weak, and said they had to go further to show probabilities that the accused would be found not guilty. Davids has said that he is innocent.
“There is testimony that she named Zwai, that you were at the pub, you were the only Zwai she knew, that you had blood on your shoes and grazes on your body,” Cupido said.
Defence attorney Pieter du Toit said the only evidence they had was Anene naming “Zwai” and that the result of tests on blood found on the shoe was not known. Du Toit put it to the court that Anene had been drinking from 9pm until around 3am and that she was under the influence of alcohol. In the ambulance she was also on two drips and was given morphine for her pain.
He submitted that her memory of what happened could possibly be unclear.
Cupido told Davids: “The fact that she had morphine does not mean that she could not identify you properly. She was clear and she said the name a second time. In these circumstances there is indeed a prima facie case against you.”
After the ruling, Davids, his family and Du Toit looked disappointed and shocked. Throughout the day, it seemed to his family that he would probably get bail.
Du Toit said: “I listened to his judgment and I can’t find any fault with it. We will now wait for the blood test results and if it is his (Davids’s) blood then we may bring another bail application based on new facts.”
Most of the people filling the court yesterday were relatives of Davids. They said it was unfair that two young men’s lives were being ruined while the others responsible were still walking freely.
The case was postponed until April 22.