Bredasdorp memorials to honour Anene Booysen

A number of churches in the Overberg town will commemorate Booysen's life at special services this weekend.

Anene Booysen died on 2 February 2013 after being raped, mutilated and left for dead. Picture: Chanel September/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Dozens of Bredasdorp residents will gather this weekend to remember Anene Booysen on the eve of the anniversary of her brutal rape and murder.

Tomorrow marks exactly one year since the 17-year-old was raped, mutilated and left for dead.

A number of churches in the Overberg town will commemorate her life at special services today and tomorrow.

Church leader Andre du Plooy says the community wants to honour Booysen.

"We will be having a service where we will affirm our stance against sexual violence towards women and children."

Meanwhile, community leader Sam van Staden says, "We're going to remember Anene as the community of Bredasdorp. We will always respect and miss her forever and ever."

Booysen was found half naked and disembowelled at a construction site in Bredasdorp after she was gang-raped.

She survived to name one of her attackers and to say that she was raped by five or six men.

Booysen died of her extensive injuries in the Tygerberg Hospital, six hours after she was found on 2 February 2013.

Twenty-one-year-old Johannes Kana is now serving a double life sentence in prison for the crime.

He was found guilty in the Swellendam Circuit Court late last year.

PUBLIC OUTCRY

South Africans responded with disbelief and horror when the news broke of Booysen's rape and murder.

The brutal attack sparked a national debate and highlighted the country's unacceptably high levels of violence against women and children.

Since then, activists have tried to turn the attack into a national talking point to help reduce the alarming number of rapes in the country each year.

In December, four-year-old Jasmin Pretorius was raped and killed, allegedly by her uncle in Brakpan.

A six-week-old baby was raped in the Northern Cape in November, sparking calls for the death penalty to be introduced.

Four-year-old Keabetswe Tshabalala was raped and killed in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg in September by a man from the community.

Meanwhile, earlier this week the South African Medical Research Council warned rape statistics are inaccurate and may be deceptive, as many sexual assaults go unreported.

Police figures show more than 66,000 rape incidents were reported over the 2012/2013 financial year.

This amounts to as many as 140 women being raped in South Africa each day.

The council said while it is concerned about the prevalence of rape countrywide, it warns under-reporting is an even bigger problem.