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Cape Town - Jonathan Davids, the man on trial for the murder and rape of Anene Booysen, is incapable of the crimes his relatives say.
Speaking after Davids was refused bail last week, relatives said he could not have committed the crimes because his mother was murdered by her boyfriend in 2001, when Davids was only 12. He saw her lying in a pool of blood in a Bredasdorp street.
When the prosecutor asked Davids about his mother in court last week, he paused for a long while.
Prosecutor Maria Marshall asked Davids whether he could answer the question and after another long pause he said she died in 2003.
Sonia Anderson, Davids’ aunt, said: “It was very traumatic for him to see his mother just lying there full of blood. He loved her so much. It was just too much for him and he was very hurt.”
Davids’ cousins told reporters at court that he was a calm person.
Davids told the court that his mother died - without saying how - and that he never knew his father. He grew up very poor and was raised by his grandparents.
Davids, 24, is nicknamed “Zwai”, the name of the man Anene, 17, told doctors had attacked her, before she died in hospital on February 2.
Davids dropped out while he was still in primary school. He never had any stable work and most recently had a contract at Floral Land.
He told the court he had lived with relatives and friends, and even with Anene and her family at one stage in 2010.
Anderson said he moved around a lot because he had nowhere to go after his grandparents died.
She said Davids was a “quiet” guy and that everyone knew him that way.
“People knew him as ‘good Zwai’, they never spoke badly of him. He wasn’t an ill-mannered person. He was very quiet. If he had to swear, I would probably be surprised,” Anderson said. After leaving school he did odd jobs at people’s houses.
“What made me very proud of him is that he would come and say he would clean the garden and if I could just give him money for a loaf of bread because they struggled a lot,” Anderson said.
Other relatives have visited him in prison and said that he cried a lot and did not want to speak about the case.
“What he has said to other family (members) is that only he and God knows that he did not do it,” she said.
Anderson added: “I am not saying it is them.
“I don’t know (co-accused Johannes) Kana. But if it is Jonathan then he must stand up and tell the world, but if he is sitting there and he is innocent then it’s not good with everyone saying bad things about him.”
She said she was shocked by what happened to Anene although she never knew her.
“I am disappointed that one person can do that do another and just leave them there; it’s cruel. She was only 17, she had her whole life ahead of her,” Anderson said.
l Kana’s family refused to speak to reporters. His full statement and confession is yet to be revealed in court.