Parents of woman raped and beaten 'struggling to come to terms with her death', says uncle

2019-07-02 17:49
Vanessa Barends. (Facebook)

Vanessa Barends. (Facebook)

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The family of 33-year-old Vanessa Barends, who was allegedly raped and beaten to death by two men in Prieska, the Northern Cape, are struggling to come to terms with her death.

"We are really traumatised, particularly her parents, who can't come to terms with her death," her uncle, Booi "BJ" Barends, told News24 on Tuesday.

"They are really struggling," he added.

Vanessa's assaulted and bloodied body was discovered by a passerby after she had gone missing over the weekend, the Diamond Fields Advertiser previously reported.

According to the publication, Northern Cape police claimed that her alleged attackers, a 15-year-old boy and 24-year-old man, "accosted and dragged her into a nearby yard [and] took turns raping her". 

'Amazing small community support'

Vannesa, the mother to two young boys aged 12 and three, will be buried on Saturday in the small town of Prieska.

Her uncle said the silver lining to Vanessa's death had been the support the family received.

ALSO READ: Boy and man arrested after raped, assaulted woman dies in Northern Cape hospital

"We're a small town and community, and following Vanessa's death, we have become one big family. The support has been amazing, and the churches and community has been amazing," said Booi.

"As a family, we really appreciate the support."

'No grudges'

Booi revealed that the family held no grudges against the alleged perpetrators of this heinous crime.

"The focus right now is laying Vanessa to rest. We want to give her a good send-off."

He revealed that only after the funeral would he look into mobilising the community in an effort to raise awareness on the lack of safety women and children faced. 

Captain Olebogeng Tawana of the Northern Cape police said they were still investigating what object was used to beat her to death.

Read more on:    crime  |  women abuse
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