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'SA becoming desensitised to rape'

A lobby group is concerned about how South Africans react to incidents of rape.

Police tape. Picture: sxc.hu.

CAPE TOWN - As police search for the men responsible for the gang-rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl in Bredasdorp, a Cape Town based non-profit organisation says it is worried that South Africans are becoming desensitised to rape.

Anene Booysen suffered horrific injuries in the attack over weekend. She died in hospital.

The girl was lured away from a local hangout spot in the early hours of Saturday morning and raped repeatedly.

She had been left for dead, but security guards found her and called police. The teenager was able to identify one of her attackers before she died. The man has been arrested.

Psychologist Ilse Ahrend, from the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children, says this type of attack should elicit widespread outrage.

Ahrend said the latest incident elicited memories of the murder of teenager Valencia Farmer 13 years ago. She was gang raped and stabbed more than 50 times.

In another incident, a 16-year-old girl was raped and mutilated in Kraaifontein in January.

Charmaine Mare’s legs and arms were hacked off and her body torched, before her remains were scattered over 40 kilometres across the city.

Johannes de Jager has since been arrested for the crime.

The alleged killer has also as undergone blood tests to see if he could be linked to other unsolved murders.

Meanwhile, the ANC Women's League says it is disgusted by the incident in which Booysen was attacked.

The league's spokesperson Troy Martens says: “It’s time that we unite as a nation and declare that enough is enough. It’s not a woman’s issue; rape is a societal issue where men and women need to take a stand and say we will not tolerate this scourge in our society any longer.”

According to Interpol, South Africa is the rape capital of the world.

It is estimated a woman is raped every 17 seconds.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)

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