Police criticised for Booysen acquittal

Many believe police botched up the investigation into Anene Booysen’s rape and murder case.

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

CAPE TOWN - An attorney at the Women's Legal Centre (WLC) on Tuesday said it is disappointing that only one accused in Anene Booysen's rape and murder case remains behind bars.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Tuesday withdrew all charges against Jonathan Davids due to insufficient evidence.

The 23-year-old, who was previously denied bail, appeared in the Bredasdorp Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

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

Davids was arrested shortly after Booysen identified him as one of her alleged attackers.

The 17-year-old girl died in hospital.

Davids' co-accused Johannes Kana remains in police custody.

The WLC's Sanja Bornman said, "If the investigation and finalised forensic report do not disclose any physical evidence against Mr Davids at this time, it is legally correct to withdraw charges against him."

Meanwhile, some Bredasdorp residents are worried police may have botched the investigation.

Bredasdorp Mayor Richard Mitchell believes the new developments could possibly reveal loopholes in the police's investigation.

He said Tuesday's incident clearly showed the right suspects were not arrested.

Mitchell has called for a thorough probe.

Fellow Bredasdorp resident Suzie Moses said she was shocked and couldn't believe Davids was a free man.

"The police must do their right work and arrest the right people."