Bredasdorp - She knew immediately it was her daughter who had been badly injured when she saw the black Grasshopper shoes with the laces tied in a certain way protruding from the sheet covering her.
Corlia Olivier, 40, the softly-spoken foster mother of Anene Booysen, had been summoned to a cold and bleak construction site in Bredasdorp early on Saturday morning.
She was called out at 5am by neighbours who had been alerted to the fact that the girl who had been gang-raped and brutally injured might be Olivier’s foster child.
Anene, 17, was lying, critically injured, at the site where she was employed as a general worker, and where she had been found by security guards.
She was taken to hospital where she died on Saturday evening, after identifying her attackers.
Olivier took Anene – whose biological mother died when she was a baby – into her care when Anene was four.
On Friday night, Anene went to David’s Sport Bar & Pub, about six blocks from their home. Olivier warned her not to stay out late.
At about midnight, Olivier went to the bar and told her daughter to come home.
“She told me that she still wanted to stay. I left her and told her not to come back later than 1am.”
A few hours later, neighbours knocked on her door. Together they walked for seven blocks to the construction site. It was cold, Olivier said, and all the time she was thinking that it couldn’t be Anene who had been attacked.
But when she saw her she immediately realised that it was Anene. Lying next to her were hairpins and items of her clothing.
Olivier, who cried throughout her conversation with the Cape Times, said her daughter had been dumped between two houses at the construction site.
Police later told her that Anene’s body had been totally cut open. “She had a cut to her neck and private parts. Some of her body parts were open on the ground.”
Police also said Anene’s fingers and legs were broken.
Olivier said her daughter was a good, quiet girl who had helped out at home. She was taken out of school in Grade 7 to work to earn money for the family. She had also been a volunteer for Fynbos Wildfire Service.
“She was a hard worker and did her best to help me,” said Olivier.
“There were days when we only had a slice of bread and water in the house. She knows about suffering. Her death took her away from our suffering.”
“When I see kids in the streets I immediately think of her. I close my eyes in the hope that she might come back to me.
“It is terrible to just sit here not knowing what to do.”
The funeral service is to be held at the Uniting Reform Church in Bredasdorp on Saturday.