BREDASDORP: Relatives of Jonathan Davids, accused of the rape and murder of Anene Booysen, believe he is innocent.
“This is very heartsore and I don’t believe he did it because his mother was also brutally murdered. I don’t think he would do something like this. We know he is innocent,” said cousin Farren van Eden.
She said his mother died after she was badly beaten and left for dead by her boyfriend in 2001.
Davids, after a long pause, earlier told the court that his mother died in 2003.
Davids’s aunt Sonia Anderson said: “The bail hearing must get done, we are all hurting. Whoever is guilty must come forward. Our community is broken because of Anene. Parents are scared to let their children outside. If they (Davids and co-accused Johannes Kana) are the right people, then they must speak. If not, those who are guilty must come forward.”
Asked if she thought Davids was innocent, Anderson said: “I am not going to comment on that.”
Hours before court started yesterday, relatives of the accused and other residents crowded the steps leading to the magistrate’s court, hoping to get a place in the courtroom.
A large group of reporters and camera crews pushed through the crowd and under police crime-scene banners to enter the building.
Proceedings started late, with around 100 people in the courtroom fanning themselves as the heat set in.
When magistrate Graham Cupido arrived, he announced that he would extend permission for photographs to be taken in court and deleted the condition that barred the media from publishing the faces of Davids and Kana.
The public gallery paid close attention as prosecutor Maria Marshall and defence attorney Pieter du Toit questioned Davids in his bail application hearing. Kana was also questioned, as was investigating officer Edmund Abels.
After breaks, the public scrambled to find a place in court, with people standing on side benches, reporters sitting on the floor, and the courtroom overflowing with people through two doors.
Davids’s bail application continues today. The State was set to call more witnesses.