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Community outraged by Bredasdorp gang-rape

The Bredasdorp community is stunned by the gang-rape and murder of a teenage girl.

The Bredasdorp community is stunned by the gang-rape and murder of a teenage girl. Picture: sxc.hu.

CAPE TOWN - The gang-rape and murder of a teenage girl in the small town of Bredasdorp has left the local community stunned.

Anene Booysen was rushed to Tygerberg Hospital after security guards discovered her at a local construction site. She was raped and severely beaten allegedly by several men in the Overberg town at the weekend.

The 17-year-old girl later died of her injuries in hospital. Booysen managed to identify one of her attackers who was later arrested. The man has since appeared in court, while police are searching for at least three more.

Bredasdorp resident Zeldie Jooste said the community was shocked and angry.

"It's a big shock to the community that something so brutal can happen in a small town where our children go out walk around in the evenings."

She said she was concerned about letting her teenage daughter go out at night.

"You'd think it's a safe town because it's so small and then something so brutal happens to an innocent girl on her way to a party."

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Social Development Department has urged teenagers to be cautious when venturing out at night.

Social Development MEC Albert Fritz said he was appalled by the attack on Booysen.

"We want to call on our young men and women to please ensure they don't get into situations at 3am in the morning, where they place themselves in danger. We don't mean to say to people they can't walk around at 3am but these are very different and difficult times. Please ensure that you are safe and go with people you can trust, who won't hurt you."

Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana on Thursday also added her voice to the outcry over the gang-rape.

Xingwana said she was shocked by the brutality of the incident.

"I think those monsters should be apprehended."

DOES SA TAKE RAPE SERIOUSLY?

The incident has also raised to concerns about whether South Africans have become desensitised to cases of rape.

Psychologist Ilse Ahrend, from the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children, said the type of attack Booysen suffered 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.

Ahrend said it was a sad indictment on how violent society had become.

She said people needed to take a stand against rape.

"I know that there are women who say its war out there. From our point of view, it's very hard not to agree with them in terms of the level and extent of the violence."

The Medical Research Council of South Africa's Rachel Jewkes agreed with Ahrend's sentiments, saying too few people actually spoke out against rape.

"The voices of the people who speak out are too few. Our research shows between a quarter and a third of all South African have raped."

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