Rape suspect's family hopes for bail

The family of Anene Booysen’s alleged rapist is hopeful he will be granted bail.

One of the suspects arrested in connection with her brutal rape and murder of Bredasdorp teen Anene Booysen. Picture: Chanel September/EW

CAPE TOWN - The family of one of the men accused of murdering and raping 17-year-old Anene Booysen is hopeful he will be granted bail.

Jonathan Davids (22) and his co-accused, Johannes Kana (21), appeared in the Bredasdorp Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Both suspects have indicated they will apply for bail when they return to court on 26 February.

Booysen was gang-raped, mutilated and left for dead at a construction site in the Overberg town on 2 February.

She later died in hospital, but not before she identified one of her alleged rapists.

Davids' uncle, Nico September, believes his nephew is innocent.

"We are very disappointed about the whole situation, but we believe Jonathan will get bail.

"I think they arrested the wrong people," he added.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was confident it obtained enough evidence to link the two men to the crimes.

Booysen's murder outraged the nation and put a spotlight on how ordinary citizens can raise awareness against rape and sexual violence.

Organisations who deal with rape victims have urged President Jacob Zuma to address the sexual assault endemic in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday.

FREE LEGAL SERVICES FOR VICTIMS

An Eastern Cape law firm has offered free legal services for victims of rape.

Statistics have shown that more than 64,000 rapes were reported to police in 2012.

As a result of the rape and murder of Booysen, Vlok Attorneys in Port Elizabeth has decided to offer its services free of charge.

The firm's Andre Vlok said they were taking action against rape, instead of just complaining about it.

"We give advice, show victims that there's a human face to the system and that it's not this cold grinding machine."

Vlok also assists victims by getting them help such as medical advice and even goes to court with the victims.

PARLIAMENT SPEAKS

Meanwhile the acting chairperson of Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police, Annelize van Wyk, said Members of Parliament (MP)s have a responsibility to talk about what makes South Africa such a violent nation.

Van Wyk also said the committee will look at the type of initiatives it can take to address the scourge of rape.

She said while Booysen has become the public face of the nationwide problem, there were many more victims whose stories were not told.

"We will have a discussion as a committee at some point on how to deal with it and what initiatives we'd like to take."

The acting chairperson also said the committee will work with other committees to address the issue of rape.