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Western Cape - Anene Booysen’s foster grandmother says the family is praying before the trial of Johannes Kana, which is set to start in the Swellendam Circuit Court on Monday.
Kana, 21, is accused of the rape and murder of Anene, 17, at a building site in Bredasdorp in February.
The State is due to call the first of its 52 witnesses on Monday in a trial that is expected to last a month.
In his plea, Kana admitted to leaving a Bredasdorp pub with Anene and later kicking her and hitting her with his fists. He then raped her, but has denied killing her.
However, the State rejected his guilty plea because it would have implied a lesser sentence.
At the time, National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said Kana’s guilty plea did not correspond with the evidence available to the State. “In respect of the rape charge, he describes circumstances which only warrant a minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and not the circumstances as contained in the docket, which warrants a minimum sentence of life imprisonment.”
Ellen Harmse, Anene’s foster grandmother, told the Cape Argus on Sunday she was unable to attend the trial but her two children would represent the family.
“My son and daughter will be there.”
She would continue to pray.
“I can’t describe how I’m feeling. We are just praying over it at the moment.”
Harmse added that Anene’s foster mother, Corlia Olivier, might also attend.
The State alleges that on the night of February 1, Kana raped Anene near Kleinbegin in Bredasdorp. It alleges that Kana then used his hand or another object to disembowel her.
Before Anene died in hospital on February 2 she named another man, “Zwai”, and said five or six men were involved in the attack.
Charges against Kana’s co-accused, Jonathan “Zwai” Davids, were dropped after the State could find no DNA evidence to link him to the crime.
On February 27, Davids pleaded not guilty to the charges. During his bail application he said he had been in the same pub as Anene on the night of her murder, but had only greeted her.
At the time the police said they could not rule him out as a suspect, and that fluids, possibly blood and semen, had been found on his shoes and trousers.
But on May 21 the State dropped all charges against Davids.
A third suspect was questioned but later released.