Mystery surrounds Anene Booysen’s injuries

2013-05-26 06:00

The only external injury 17-year-old rape and murder victim Anene Booysen sustained was a tear to her perineum, the Bredasdorp community was told on Tuesday evening.

The information was provided by SAPS Hermanus Cluster Commander Phumzile Cetyana at a community meeting in the town following charges against accused number one in the case, Jonathan Quinton Davids (23) being dropped.

Media reports since the case became international news following Anene Booysen being found at a housing construction site on February 2 this year and her subsequent death in hospital, have stated that she was gang raped and disembowelled.

Shortly after Booysen’s death Die Burger quoted a doctor as saying someone had put their hand inside her body and ripped out her intestines, which is why she did not survive.

Acting Bredasdorp Station Commissioner, Captain Nico Loubser, said he had heard Cetyana on Tuesday saying Booysens suffered a tear to the perineum.

Cetyana confirmed what he said, that reports of Booysen’s injuries were exaggerated in the media and a tear to the perineum was the extent of her external injuries.

He wouldn’t provide any further information on the case.

Davids’ uncle Nico September, with whom he is staying since his release from custody on Tuesday, was also at the meeting and confirmed this.

With the state now only having one suspect in the case, Johannes Kana (21) who reportedly confessed to raping and assaulting Booysen, but not to murdering her, the question over the cause of her death is raised.

Investigating officers in the case would not speak to City Press, although one officer, who did not deny the lack of external injuries to Booysen, hinted that the case would bring “a lot of surprises”.

Investigating officers directed queries to NPA provincial spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila who said he had not seen the post-mortem results.

Ntabazalila said he “couldn’t get hold of those guys (investigating officers)”.

The NPA has stated it will proceed with its case against Kana and that he is the only suspect in the case.

“After a thorough investigation, only one accused could be linked to the offences.

“In addition there was no proof that linked Jonathan ‘Zwai’ Davids or a group of people with the offences,” Ntabazalila has stated.

It appears Davids, who goes by the nickname ‘Zwai’, was arrested as ‘Zwai’ was the name Booysen gave for one of her attackers before she died in Tygerberg Hospital.

Davids was friends with Booysen, having lived on the same property as she did for a time.

But ‘Zwai’ is not an uncommon nickname in the town, residents say, with at least three people in the informal settlement answering to the name.

A number of Bredasdorp residents also believe Davids and Booysen had an intimate relationship at one point but Davids denies this, saying Booysen was “like a sister” to him.

Davids appears to be struggling to come to terms with having been accused of her rape and murder and is traumatised at spending four months in custody at the Buffeljags River jail near Swellendam.

He says following his arrest he was incarcerated in an overcrowded cell with convicted criminals and was continually threatened with rape.

He said when police came to arrest him on February 2, he thought it was related to a fight he had with his niece the previous night after returning home from Kallie’s Pub.

He said while at the pub that night he had seen and greeted Booysen but had not drank with her and did not know who she was with that night.

With residents saying the pub is so popular on weekends there is often barely standing room, Davids’ assertion is plausible.

Now staying with his uncle Nico September (39) in a state-subsidised house in Bredasdorp, Davids’s life story has a lot in common with Booysen’s.

Davids said Booysen was a very relaxed person but started drinking heavily after her biological mother died about three years ago.

Like Booysen, Davids also lost his mother and his father, as was hers, is a stranger.

Davids’ mother was murdered by her boyfriend in 2001 when he was 11 years old.

Like Booysen, Davids did not finish school and lived in different houses with different relatives, for varying periods of time.

Davids dropped out of school after being seriously injured in a car accident when he was 16 and September appears to be the most stable influence in his life.

However, September, while a church-going man, is himself unemployed and makes do with piece work while he supports his 19-year-old son and helps provide for his 11-year-old daughter.

Booysen was similarly adrift. Growing up on a farm, her mother drank heavily and she and her brother Ryno were taken in and adopted by Corlia and Marco Olivier.

Initially the four of them lived in Bredasdorp with Marco’s mother Ellen Harmse until Marco managed to secure a patch of land and erect a shack.

Then, following the death of Booysen’s biological mother, Marco was arrested and later imprisoned for assaulting Corlia during a drinking spree.

Harmse said Marco woke up to find Corlia battered and bleeding.

“He didn’t know if he did it but he gave himself up.”

Harmse said no-one now knows where Corlia is.

“She left town after Anene’s funeral. We’ve heard she’s in Greyton but we don’t know for sure.”

But a number of people City Press managed to speak to, including Harmse, don’t question Davids’ innocence.

“It was a great shock when he was accused of Anene’s murder,” said Harmse.

“We never believed he’s guilty. We’re happy he’s out of jail.”

She said Booysen was a quiet, very sweet child (“’n baie liewe kind”) and although only 17 and having dropped out of school, had a job for the Asla construction company cleaning up completed state-subsidised houses before the beneficiaries moved in.

It was between these houses, a stone’s throw from the pub she had been drinking during the early hours of Saturday February 2, that she was raped.

The extent of the brutality she suffered, and at whose hands, is still a mystery.

- West Cape News

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