'May Anene Booysen rest in peace'

Anene Booysen who died from her injuries after being gang-raped has been laid to rest.

Anene Booysen was gang-raped and murdered in Bredasdorp. Picture: Chanel September/EWN

BREDASDORP - An emotional tribute has been paid to Bredasdorp teenager Anene Booysen, who was brutally raped and murdered a week ago.

Friends and family held a special funeral service for the 17-year-old at the Dutch Reformed Church on Saturday morning.

Booysens family sat in the front of the church wiping their tears as they stared at her white coffin.

Western Cape MEC of Community Safety Dan Plato who was at the service said the rape pandemic must be stopped.

"No community or government can allow a thing like this to happen to our women. Women need to be protected by us, not raped and killed by us."

The MEC said something needs to be done stop this from happening again.

"I think we need to step up our efforts and not just leave it for the 16 Days of Activism."

During the eulogy, it was said that Booysen would have preferred to have been remembered by the way she lived and not the way he died.

She was described as a teenager who never gave her family any problems.

The youth were also urged to put their safety first.

AN UNFORGIVABLE CRIME

Booysen was lured away from a local tavern last weekend by a group of men who then brutally gang-raped and mutilated her.

Before she died in hospital, Booysen identified her friend as one of her attackers.

It is believed the 23-year-old man and Booysen grew up together.

Two other men were arrested earlier this week and will appear in court on Monday.

RESOURCES POURED INTO INVESTIGATION

Head of the Family Violence and Sexual Offences Unit in the Western Cape has been deployed to Bredasdorp to lead the team investigating both crimes.

Colonel Sonja Harris will oversee the investigation.

Deputy provincial police commissioner Peter Jacobs says Harris will make sure that the investigators cover all their bases.

Jacobs said the sexual offences unit in the province has secured numerous rape convictions.

"She's been the commander of this unit from the start. Under her leadership, in 2012 alone, we had nine life sentences for sexual offences."

NATIONWIDE OUTRAGE

Booysen's death sparked outrage across the country.

On Friday, angered Bredasdorp community members, mostly women and children, marched through town and placed flowers at the construction site where Booysen's body was discovered.

Over the next few days, a series of memorial services and marches are planned to lead up to the court appearance of the men arrested for the attack.

Radio stations under Primedia Broadcasting on Friday disrupted programming by playing a beep every four minutes as part of a massive drive to speak out against rape.

Minister of Children, Women and People with Disabilities has called on South African men to provide leadership in the wake of the rape mutilation and murder Booysen.

Lulu Xingwana said young men needed role models who will show them that abusing women is unacceptable.

"Men have to speak out against this and lead from the front and become role models to our children and teach them that real men do not abuse women."

Meanwhile the Council of Muslim Theologians has described the incident as a crime that has scarred the nation.

The council said the violation of the teen should be used as a turning point in the fight against violence on women and children.

Jamaitul Ulama of South Africa's Ebrahim Bham said government should make punishment for women abuse harsher.

"We hope that the deterrent factor must be increased by the state apparatus."

*For helpful information on rape and sexual assault, click here