The shocking case of Anene Booysen
The horrific case of Anene Booysen’s gang rape, disembowelment, and death is one that has shaken South Africa, and also made international news. This news clip attached from the eNews Channel Africa, shows the devastation of Anene’s mother and explains the injuries that had occurred from the attack. This clip portrays to the public the emotion experienced by rape victims and their families that is often not displayed to the public. This allows us to not just view this appalling crime as another rape that adds to the statistics in South Africa. This is a real tragedy that happened to real people in our courtry.
The fact that the seventeen year old’s life had to end in such a barbaric manner leaves many people questioning our morals and values as a society. It leaves one with a sense of desperation for the future of our country. As a woman living in South Africa, it was absolutely terrifying to hear about this incident. It left me feeling completely hopeless, and in addition knowing that many cases like Anene’s occur daily without being reported, is a fact that is frightening.
Nomboniso Gasa, the programme manger of the Council for the advancement of the South African Constitution, speaks out in the video clip, pleading with the government to take more responsibility regarding issues of violence in our country. In another article written by Gasa entitled “Anene Booysen: a mirror of our society” published in The Sunday Independent on the 11th of February, she discusses the way in which she feels South Africa is “rape friendly”. Gasa mentions that the punishment for sexual offenders in South Africa should be harsher and that the justice system should deal with this issue more effectively.
She states that this case, out of the thousands that unfortunately occur everyday in our country, is a symbol of all those who have suffered rape and abuse. It seems as if Anene Booysen’s case is the breaking point that has caused a public outcry. Moreover the issue of “who is to blame” always seems to come into question regarding sexual violence. Gasa mentions that public figures have made numerous comments on how women should dress and who they should associate themselves with.
This reminds us of the terrible incidents that have occurred in the past at the Noord Taxi Rank in Johannesburg, where women have been victims of sexual violence due to the way in which they dress. Gasa feels that this sends out mixed messages to the public regarding the issue of women’s rights. It should not happen, no matter what the circumstances are. President Jacob Zuma made the statement that no woman or child should have to face rape anywhere in South Africa. This was said at the Glendale Secondary School’s protest against rape in Cape Town, as reported by the Mail & Guardian. The fact of the matter is that this issue needs to be addressed in our country. It is a pity that it took such a tragic incident to make people more aware of the urgency of the situation.