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Normality returns to Bredasdorp

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iol news pic Bredasdorp court Anene

Neil Baynes

Bredasdorp community members wait outside the Magistrate's Court for the appearence of one of the men arrested for Anene Booysens murder. Picture : Neil Baynes

Bredasdorp - The rural town of Bredasdorp slowly returned to its quiet self on Tuesday after recent publicity following the brutal rape and murder of a teenage resident.

Journalists swooped down on the Western Cape town following the murder of Anene Booysen, 17, earlier this month.

Accommodation in the town, usually a pit-stop for tourists travelling to Arniston and Struisbaai, was fully booked by Monday, and some reporters had to spend the night in neighbouring Napier.

On Friday, February 1, Booysen was gang-raped, murdered and mutilated and left for dead at the Asla Magwebu construction site, where she worked, not far from her RDP home. She died in hospital on Saturday, February 2.

All that remained at the site this week was a cross and flowers. Small children and dogs milled around between the many rows of beige and pastel RDP houses, situated on a barren, dusty landscape a few kilometres out of town.

It was here that angry residents and members of the African National Congress Youth League, the Democratic Alliance and other organisations marched from on Tuesday morning to express outrage over what had happened there.

Escorted by police cars, they made their way to the Bredasdorp Magistrate's Court, where two men appeared in connection with the crimes.

A portion of the town's main road, Long Street, was blocked off around the court with large metal drums.

Many young families from the area pushed their children in prams in the procession.

By the time Booysen's alleged killers, Jonathan Davids, 22, and Johannes Kana, 21, had finished their appearance in court, the number of picketers outside the court had swelled to over a hundred.

A few women wearing ANC and DA shirts bickered and pushed each other at the entrance to the court.

Inside the building, Women and Children Minister Lulu Xingwana

addressed reporters on the horror of the crime, and how stiff sentences should be imposed on those who were found guilty.

By noon, the crowds had dispersed, the road was re-opened to traffic and people walked back to their houses.

Fast food outlets, restaurants, real estate businesses and other shops operated as usual.

Two separate groups of women who attended the march, and who declined to give their names, said Booysen's death had made them wary of walking in town at night.

“We are always careful of our safety, but after her murder we don't want to go out anymore at night. Before, we could walk around at 1am or 2am,” one of the women said.

Another woman said she was worried about the implications the murder would have on her two small children.

“We have to keep an eye on them.”

Those who took part in the march said they were unemployed, off for the day or had been given permission to just take a few hours off.

With the two men set to return to court on February 26 for their bail applications, attention would likely return to the usual tourist attractions, such as the imposing Dutch Reformed Church building, or the Arniston shipwreck museum. - Sapa


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