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Cape Town - Wherever Anene Booysen is today – her 18th birthday – she is smiling. This is the view of Eric Ntabazalila, the National Prosecuting Authority spokesman, after the Swellendam Circuit Court found Johannes Kana guilty of raping and murdering Anene after a drunken pub evening in Bredasdorp in February.
Outside court, Ntabazalila said they had felt confident that the court would find Kana guilty of both charges.
“We are pleased and happy that the court has found him guilty of rape and murder. We were convinced he was the one who killed Anene.
“A young woman who died before her time got the justice she deserved.
“We are sure wherever she may be that she is smiling.
“This decision serves justice for Anene Booysen and it’s the best present she could have hoped for as she would have celebrated her 18th birthday tomorrow (Wednesday).”
Earlier as the judge pronounced Kana guilty, investigating officer Warrant Officer Edmund Abels punched the air and muttered triumphantly: “Eight months of hard work.”
But in the dock Kana sat expressionless as Judge Patricia Goliath delivered the judgment that would define his future.
He had sat still throughout the three-hour judgment, occasionally chewing his nails or glancing down.
After the judge had adjourned the court, Kana’s lawyer Pieter du Toit said they had hoped that he would be found not guilty of murder.
But he added: “I don't think the judge made any mistakes in her judgment. It's not a surprise that he was found guilty of murder.
“I just feel sad for him and Anene, because two lives have been destroyed.”
He said Kana would finally take the stand on Wednesday to testify in mitigation of sentence.
The judge made it clear his decision not to testify about his version of events on the night of Friday, February 1 did not count in his favour.
“Kana is the only person who could talk about what happened at the scene but he didn't take the stand.”
Kana had pleaded guilty of rape but not guilty of murder.
Over the weeks of Kana’s trial the Swellendam Circuit Court heard chilling testimony about the state in which Anene had been found by a security guard in the early hours of February 2 in a building site.
She was concious but in agony, she had a vicious tear between her vagina and anus, and her intestines were protruding. She died later that day in Tygerberg Hospital.
Dr Elizabeth de Kock from the Otto du Plessis Hospital in Bredasdorp said she believed Anene’s injury had been caused by a blunt object, such as “a fist with lots of force”.
She added: “It shocked me deeply.”
Kana was the last person seen leaving Kallies pub in Bredasdorp with Anene in the early hours of February 2.
Judge Goliath said that the cap and glass found at the building site where Anene was found were “monumental evidence” in the trial.
The court believed that the rape and murder took place within a 30-minute period between 3.35am and 4.10am. “Kana and Anene were together at the pub, both were drunk. Both were seen walking away towards Asla site B.”
Witness Elryno Jameson, who accompanied Anene’s foster mother Corlia Olivier to the pub, testified that he had seen someone wearing a cap and standing with an arm around Anene. The judge found Jameson to be an honest witness and completely independent of Kana’s friends.
“The court believes the person standing with Anene was Kana.”
The court also accepted the second statements of Riaan Scheepers and Chrisna Mentoor, both close friends of Kana. Both had lied in their first statements to protect him, but later decided to tell the truth.
In her first statement Mentoor said Kana had left the pub with her, but later admitted she had seen Kana leave with Anene. She also identified the cap found at the scene as Kana’s.
The judge said: “In Kana’s confession he himself says they started kissing when they arrived at the houses. She pushed him away, he kicked and punched her, and then he raped her.
“It can be accepted that she must have dropped the glass and he lost his cap. The combination of the cap and glass found means both were at the scene from the time of the rape to the mutilation.”
There was too little time for other parties to have come along later and inflicted such severe injuries.
The court found that the spot where Anene was found was the place where the attack occurred, owing to the evidence of blood spatter, intestines and blood smear found on the wall of a house.
And she found that Kana had lied to police when he mentioned Jonathan “Zwai” Davids in his statement to deflect attention from himself.
“He lied to police when he said the cap didn’t belong to him and when he said he saw Zwai talking to Anene.”
Ntabazalila said the State would call for a sentence of life imprisonment.
Kana’s mother Lena Rickers sat in the front benches behind her son.
Outside court his uncle Johannes Kana said they would appeal against the judgment. “Nothing was mentioned about the mess the police made in the case. He lost because the defence was weak and more people (witnesses) were not called.”