Seventeen year old Anene Booysen was found at a construction site after she had been so viciously raped and mutilated that the scene where her body was found resembled a horror movie.
Anene had been left for dead after being gang raped. Booysen had been cut open from her stomach to her genitals–at least one of her attackers then reached inside of her abdomen and withdrew her intestines, replacing them with shards of a broken glass bottle. When Anene was discovered at the construction site, her intestines had been strewn about her body and were covered in sand. According to her foster mother, Corlia Oliveier, all of Booysen’s fingers had been broken as well as both of her legs. Anene’s throat had also been cut.
Ms. Booysen eventually succumbed to her injuries and died shortly before 10PM, some time after being able to identify at least one of her attackers–a man who had allegedly been an boyfriend and childhood friend. Two other men were later arrested and all are set to be arraigned within the coming week.
As horrible as the rape and murder of Anene Booysen may sound, it is just the latest of the all-too-common crime of rape in South Africa, a country with the highest incidence of reported rape in the world. The latest rape trend in South Africa involves the elderly: An 82 year old and a 73 year old were attacked on January 2nd, 2013. Rape of elderly women, mainly in rural communities, has been on the rise.
Sexual assaults of women and girls have become so common as to become almost pase in South Africa, but this time, President Jacob Zuma says things will be handled differently and that Anene’s case will be the start of a national conversation on how to stop the rape in that country. Zuma described the crime as “shocking” and “inhumane.” “Impose the harshest sentences on such crimes, as part of a concerted campaign to end this scourge in our society,” he said.
Let’s hope that this time–this rape–the outcry both in South Africa and abroad will be so great that Zuma is forced to keep his word: “It has no place in our country. We must never allow ourselves to get used to these acts of base criminality to our women and children.”
“Brutal Western Cape Gang Rape Forces South Africa To Examine Gender Violence Epidemic” [Jezebel]
Image via Times Live
Jamila Akil is a Senior Editor at Beyond Black and White. Follow her on Twitter @jamilaakil