Anene: Bredasdorp’s divisions deepen

2013-03-03 10:00

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At one end of Bredasdorp’s vast main road, Anene Booysen is merely a name in the local paper.

But drive past the stately, freshly painted houses, antique stores and bustling cafes and into the section of town known as Kleinbegin, and Anene’s name is still on everyone’s lips.

Here, where the pavements are overgrown and the school fields are dry, grassless expanses, residents are no closer to making sense of the murder that shook the nation.

It’s been a month since 17-year-old Anene was found at a construction site, pleading for help. She had been raped and brutally assaulted. Before she died, she allegedly said the name “Zwaai” to either a paramedic or a counsellor – nobody is entirely sure which.

Her dying words led to the arrest of 22-year-old Jonathan Davids, known to some Kleinbegin residents as Zwaai.

The second person to be arrested was 21-year-old Johannes Kana, who has admitted to having sex with Booysen on the night of her death.

It’s Davids’ arrest that has torn the community apart.

Nico September is Davids’ maternal uncle, and the man who raised him after his mother, Jane, was beaten to death, allegedly by her boyfriend, when her son was just 11.

September and his 80-year-old uncle “Oom” Simon Europa, spoke to City Press outside September’s modest home in Duine Road.

Davids comes from a deeply religious family of rugby players – September himself coaches club rugby in the nearby town of Bonnievale.

The family got its nickname, the “Tieketakke”, when Davids’ grandfather mispronounced the word “tactic” as “tic-tac” during a game.

But Davids does not follow this sporty path: a serious car accident in his early teens left him with a broken hip, leg and arm.

“Since then he has not regained his strength,” says September. “He doesn’t have the strength for physical work or physical activity.”

Davids did odd jobs around town, working as a backyard mechanic and spraypainter. Two weeks before his arrest he started a new job at a plant nursery.

He speaks of a gentle, kind young man who talks non-stop when drunk and “doesn’t take any drugs”.

Europa, who is blind and breaks into song during any moment of silence, then lets on that Dolene Olivier, the investigating officer originally assigned to the case, is September’s second cousin.

“She is Jonathan’s aunt,” he says. “We are family but there is bad blood between us and her, for a long time.”

When City Press put this to the Bredasdorp police, Captain Corney Pratt said they were unaware of the relationship, but insisted that Olivier was no longer working on the case.

Olivier was not available for comment.

September says contrary to media reports, Davids and Booysen never dated – they were merely friends who “grew up in each other houses”, he insists.

“I went to Anene’s foster mother when Jonathan was arrested, and I told her that I hope this does not create bad feelings between us, but I will stand behind Jonathan.”

Booysen’s foster mother, Corlia Olivier, is another hot topic in the area. Her parenting style has been heavily criticised by residents, who gossip openly about her.

Olivier has left town and refuses to speak to the media.

Kana has admitted in court to having sex with Booysen, while Davids has pleaded not guilty. Both were denied bail in the Bredasdorp Magistrates Court this week.

Annette Engel, an elderly resident and former teacher from the town, agrees that Davids is “not the type to do something like this”.

“When Anene said ‘Zwaai’, she could have been calling to him for help. I think the police don’t know what to do so they are just grabbing at anything.”

In Duine Road, residents no longer give journalists a second look – they are used to the media attention.

“We were the first family living on this street,” says September.

“We are proud of our street and our home. We are a very proud and loving family. But don’t mess with us.”

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