Acquitted Booysen suspect relieved

Jonathan Davids’ family says it was painful to see an innocent man suffer.

Jonathan Davids, accused of gang-raping, murdering and mutilating 17-year-old Anene Booysen, appears in the Bredasdorp Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, 26 February 2013. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - Relatives of one of the men accused of raping and murdering Bredasdorp teenager Anene Booysen say they're relieved the charges against him have been withdrawn.

The State announced on Tuesday that it was withdrawing its case against Jonathan Davids because of insufficient evidence.

Booysen's case attracted international attention in February, when she was gang-raped and mutilated after leaving a tavern in the Overberg town.

Davids, who was denied bail during a previous court appearance, was arrested just days after Booysen was found by security guards at a construction site.

She identified Davids as one of her alleged attackers, shortly before she died.

Addressing journalists outside the court, Davids said he was angry that he had spent more than three months in custody for a crime he did not commit.

He said he was glad to be a free man.

Davids said after such an ordeal, he doesn't know how to face the world anymore.

He also said he tried to commit suicide while in custody.

The 23-year-old also claimed he told authorities numerous times that he was innocent.

"I told them over 30 times that I'm not guilty, but they [police] didn't really believe me."

Davids said while he is still angry, he hopes police are able to find the right people who committed the crime.

His uncle Simon September said, "I'm glad it's all over because it was so painful to see someone suffer that way."

The State will continue with its case against the second man accused of the crime, Johannes Kana.