Anene Booysen was raped by a gang of men after she had been partying with her friends at a bar in Bredarsdorp in the Western Cape earlier this year. Her ordeal did not end at gang-rape; she also was beaten and then disembowelled. On the morning of 2 February 2013, she was found by a security guard, barely clinging to life. She was able to identify ‘Zwai’ as one of her attackers before she died.
On Tuesday, the South African media reported that 22 year old Jonathan ‘Zwai’ Davids was no longer facing prosecution after the state dropped all charges against him. The National Prosecuting Authority cited “insufficient evidence” as the reason for the withdrawal of the charges against Davids. One of the main challenges for the prosecution was that Davids shares the nickname ‘Zwai’ with another man who lives in a nearby township and therefore the state could not determine with certainty which ‘Zwai’ the late Booysen was referring to.
The state is still pursuing its case against the second accused in the case, Johannes Kana. Kana is said to have confessed that he was one of the men who raped and brutally assaulted Booysen but he denied murdering her.
This outcome in the Anene Booysen case has been compared to the shocking outcome in the trial of the police officers who were accused in the death of Andries Tatane. Last month, the Public News Hub ran a story that the officers were acquitted as there was “insufficient evidence” to pin point exactly which one fired the fatal shot. His shooting was caught on several recordings include state and media visual footage but none of the police officers who were at the scene could be held responsible because they were wearing protective helmets which obscured their faces.
South Africans are outraged at the explanations given for the acquittal of the accused in both the Tatane and Booysen cases. There is a weak link in the system and public opinion points a finger at the investigative work done by the police.