Government welcomes Kana's sentence

Johannes Kana been sentenced to double life for the rape, mutilation and murder of Anene Booysen.

Convicted rapist and murderer Johannes Kana. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Government has welcomed the double life sentence handed down to convicted rapist and murderer Johannes Kana.

The 22-year-old man raped, mutilated and murdered 17-year-old Bredasdorp teenager Anene Booysen in February this year.

He was found guilty in the Swellendam Circuit Court on Wednesday following a three-week long trial.

Swellendam residents waiting outside court. Picture: EWN.

Government spokesperson Phumla Williams commended law enforcement agencies for the swift manner in which the case was handled.

"We commend the work that's been done by the law enforcement agencies because it's in our interest to make sure that women and children feel safe. It is one of our priorities in government."

Johannes Kana in the dock during sentencing at Swellendam High Court. Picture:EWN.

Anene Booysen's death served to highlight the shocking level of gender-based violence in the country.

In Swellendam, some of Kana's family members broke down in tears shortly after the ruling was made.

He showed no emotion as he was escorted by police from the packed courtroom.

Still standing outside on the steps of the court, Kana's aunt said they cannot accept the fact that he will spend the rest of his life in jail.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) however welcomed the verdict.

Judge Patricia Goliath said the court had a duty to take all facts into account when deciding on Kana's sentence.

She said she was aware Kana had a five-month-old baby, that he was drunk on the night of the attack and that he cooperated with police after his arrest.

But Goliath said the court had a responsibility to act on those found guilty of such gruesome crimes.

Meanwhile, Kana's lawyer Pieter du Toit has described the ruling as fair.

"I can't see that the judge could have given any other ruling. Once again she did a good analysis of the relevant factors. I think the crimes he was found guilty of deserve life."