Cape Town - The rape, mutilation and subsequent death of a 17-year-old Bredasdorp girl has shocked many, and political organisations have expressed their outrage.
Cosatu described the attack on the girl as “appalling”, while the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) said the incident left it disgusted.
Anine Booysen was raped – possibly gang-raped. She was also disembowelled but was still alive when she was found. Before she died, she was able to name one of the men she said had attacked her.
Jonathan Quinton Davids, 22, appeared in the Bredasdorp Magistrate’s Court on charges of rape and murder on Tuesday.
Police are still looking for more suspects.
Cosatu national spokesman Patrick Craven appealed to residents to “demonstrate” outside the court when Davids was set to appear.
“When a very similar incident occurred in India there was a massive protest and mass demonstrations in the streets. It was a huge story around the world. We must show that South Africa is no less angry at such crimes, and make an equally loud statement of disgust.”
In South Africa there was a tendency to accept incidents like the death of Booysen as part of daily life. “We need to unite as a nation to make criminals scared of society’s outrage when such acts are perpetrated,” Craven added.
The teenager was found in early hours of Saturday and taken to the local hospital before being transferred to hospital in Worcester and eventually to Tygerberg, where she died.
A source in the Bredasdorp told the Cape Argus that Booysen had been sliced open from her stomach to her genital area, and her internal organs and insides had been “hanging out”.
“It was one of the most gruesome things you can imagine - especially for a small platteland town,” the source said, asking not to be named.
Hospital staff had to receive debriefing counselling, “because the girl’s injuries were so horrific”, said the Health Department’s Faiza Steyn.
Bredasdorp resident Zeldie Jooste said the community was shocked and angry, Eyewitness News reported.
“It’s a big shock to the community that something so brutal can happen in a small town where our children go out walk around in the evenings.”
She told EWN that she was concerned about letting her teenage daughter go out at night.
“You’d think it’s a safe town because it’s so small and then something so brutal happens to an innocent girl on her way to a party.”
A statement released on behalf of the ANCWL by spokeswoman Troy Martens said South Africans needed to come together as a nation and declare that “enough is enough”.
“Men and women need to join hands around this issue and fight this epidemic together. The Women's League and a few women's NGOs can no longer be the lone voices crying out against rape.
“The scourge of rape cannot be seen as a women’s issue any longer. All South Africans of all creeds need to come together as a nation and take a stand against this vulgar and despicable sexual crime,” Martens said.
“We cannot let another girl or woman suffer like 17-year-old Anene Booysen.”
The women’s league was “baffled” by the high number of rapes in society.
“It is difficult to find reason behind the many different acts of gang rape, child rape, rape of the elderly, corrective rape and male rape.”
South Africa's statistics agency concluded in 2000 that it had the highest reported rape rate of all 120 Interpol member countries, according to Reuters. Even when suspects are caught, only 12 percent of cases end in conviction.
Cape Argus, IOL