News / Africa

South African Rapist Gets Life in Prison

FILE - Protesters call for the South African government to act against rape and abuse of women in Cape Town on February 27, 2013.
FILE - Protesters call for the South African government to act against rape and abuse of women in Cape Town on February 27, 2013.
Anita Powell
A South African Court handed down a double life sentence to a young man convicted of raping and disemboweling a teenage girl and leaving her to die on Friday. The judge was unsparing, giving Johannes Kana the maximum possible sentence for raping, mutilating and killing 17-year-old Anene Booysen.
           
The 21-year-old now faces two concurrent life terms in prison, with no chance of parole.  Kana admitted that he raped Anene, but denied killing her.

He told the court that Anene resisted his sexual advances on that night in February in the Western Cape town of Bredasdorp.

So, he said, he punched her in the face, kicked her, knocked her down, raped her and then ran away.

The brutality of her rape and death has riveted South Africa.  A doctor told a local newspaper that the attackers sliced open the girl's body and pulled out her intestines with their hands.

Top South African officials, including the police minister, have praised the sentence.

Bianca Valentine, an attorney for the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, concurs with that praise.  But, she says, Anene’s case is a rare instance of justice being done.  Her Johannesburg-based organization assists women who are victims of violence.

“I think that overall, unless you have extensive media coverage or you have victims who are being assisted by a well-structured and well-financed organization [that] is able to push the legal system, victims of sexual violence do not receive adequate and effective justice through the criminal justice system," said Valentine.

South African police documented more than 64,000 rapes last year.  A widely cited 2010 study found that more than a quarter of South African men say they have raped a girl or woman. One in seven men surveyed anonymously admit to taking part in a gang rape.

Still, Valentine says, Anene’s case has raised awareness in South Africa. It has been the most-watched rape case here since President Jacob Zuma was tried and acquitted of raping a family friend in 2005.

Referring to a controversial rape trial in Kenya, Valentine said sexual-violence incidents should be prosecuted firmly everywhere.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Nairobi on Thursday demanding justice for rape victims, after a teenage girl's rapists were forced to cut grass by local police as punishment for their crimes.

The 16-year-old victim has been confined to a wheelchair since she was gang-raped in June in western Kenya.

Valentine says all African nations need to push for better prosecution of all sexual violence cases, not just those that grab headlines.

“It’s a joke. And a country like Kenya," she said. "They should be setting an example to the rest of Africa so that this exposure and emphasis placed on the crimes against women, especially sexual violence, and that when a country like Kenya is not putting enough pressure on police and the prosecutorial system to recognize that in a sense sexual violence against women is an offense to the dignity and the worth of women, it sets a very bad precedent for the rest of Africa.”

Anene’s family did not have any immediate comment after Friday's sentencing.

When the girl's foster mother visited her rocky, unadorned grave two days ago, on Wednesday, she told a reporter had expected to be spending the day baking Anene’s favorite orange cake and celebrating with friends and family.

Wednesday would have been Anene's 18th birthday.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: H NASH from: SYDNEY AUS
November 03, 2013 1:14 AM
i think that life for the rapist is to leiant they should have the same treatment as they gave there victim an eye for eye ,

by: prince Nartey from: Ghana
November 01, 2013 3:56 PM
my condolences to anene's family but I think the culprit should have been sentence to death through disembowling as well to serve as a deterrent to other potential culprits

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More