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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid