President Jacob Zuma has condemned the rape and brutal murder of 17-year-old Anene Booysen.
Found barely alive by a security guard at a construction site in Bredasdorp, on Saturday, she had been gang-raped, disembowelled and left for dead.
After identifying one of her alleged rapists, the girl succumbed to her injuries and died in Tygerberg Hospital on Saturday afternoon.
“The whole nation is outraged by this extreme violation and destruction of a young human life,” Zuma said.
“This act is shocking, cruel and most inhumane. It has no place in our country. We must never allow ourselves to get used to these acts of base criminality to our women and children.”
Zuma conveyed his condolences to friends and family of the young victim and promised that the government would not rest until Booysen’s attackers had been brought to justice.
Zuma has also called on the courts to impose the harshest possible sentences.
Professor Rachel Jewkes, director of the Medical Research Council’s gender and health unit, said that despite promises of a zero-tolerance stance on rape, there was no evidence that there had been any impact.
She said that rape had become a frighteningly normal part of society.
According to research her unit has conducted in the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng, between 25 and 33 percent of men in South Africa have raped someone. She said part of the problem was that the government trivialised rape.
Rather than including rape prevention as part of national development, the problem was often sidelined, with the ANC Women’s League or Department of Social Development being expected to react.
On THursday, DA members of Parliament visited the Booysen family in Bredasdorp to pay their respects.
Community Safety MEC Dan Plato condemned the attack on Anene. He said that in the Western Cape, a total of 9 153 sexual offences – including rape – were reported last year and 30 percent of the crimes involved children.