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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

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