S.African minister calls for toughest sentence for rape accused

BREDASDORP, South Africa Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:05pm IST

Related Topics

BREDASDORP, South Africa (Reuters) - South Africa's women's minister called on Tuesday for the toughest possible sentence for two men accused of raping and murdering a teenage girl, a crime that shocked a nation hardened by some of the world's highest rates of sexual violence.

At a hearing in the sleepy town of Bredasdorp, 130 km (80 miles) east of Cape Town, Minister of Women Lulu Xingwana hugged and offered condolences to the family of murdered 17-year-old Anene Booysen, who was left to die on a building site 10 days ago after being raped. Her stomach had been slit open down to her genitals.

"We are saying to the court today there must be no bail for these criminals and monsters," Xingwana told reporters.

"We expect the toughest and the harshest sentence that can act as a deterrent to other criminals that abuse and kill our women and children," she said.

Her unusual intervention follows widespread condemnation, including from President Jacob Zuma, of a crime that has brought attention to the shockingly high levels of violence against women and children in South Africa.

The incident has echoes of the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a New Delhi bus late last year, although so far there have been few signs of the mass protests against the violence that gripped India.

A crowd of 100 people protested outside the magistrate's court in Bredasdorp, carrying placards saying "Show no mercy to rapists" and "No bail to murderers".

"As an activist I strongly push that there should be no bail for these monsters. What would they do if this happened to any of their family members?" said Faraah September.

The magistrate ordered the pair, who hid their faces from television cameras and photographers in court, to remain behind bars until February 26 when the bail application will be heard. The suspects face a maximum life sentence if found guilty.

Police freed a third man arrested after the incident due to lack of evidence linking him to the crime, but said they were investigating whether there were others also involved.

South Africa has the highest number of reported rapes per capita of any Interpol member country with more than 64,500 reported in 2011/2012 in a population of 50 million. Even when suspects are caught only 12 percent of cases end in conviction, despite government attempts to beef up its justice system.

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Jon Hemming)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Islamic State

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Quest For Statehood

Quest For Statehood

Sweden recognises Palestinian state, hopes will revive peace process  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola health worker restrictions could deter others - U.S. envoy  Full Article 

East Jerusalem Clashes

East Jerusalem Clashes

Clashes erupt as Israeli police kill Palestinian suspected of shooting Jewish far-rightist  Full Article 

Gas Supply Deal

Gas Supply Deal

Ukraine, Russia, EU likely to agree gas supply deal Thursday - officials  Full Article 

Sri Lanka Landslide

Sri Lanka Landslide

No hope for survivors in Sri Lanka landslide, over 100 dead  Full Article 

Photo

Unrest In Burkina Faso

Protesters demand Burkina Faso president quit, burn parliament   Full Article 

Syrian War

Syrian War

Syrian air strikes kill over 200 civilians in 10 days - monitor  Full Article 

Call For Probe

Call For Probe

U.N. watchdog urges Israel to probe possible Gaza war crimes  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage