Anene Booysen: Kana says he's innocent, but trying to prove it won't be easy

Seven years into his sentence at a Free State prison, Kana says he wants his case reopened and says he confessed to raping Anene because he didn't know better at the time.

Johannes Kana during his sentencing in Swellendam High Court on 1 November 2013. Picture:EWN

CAPE TOWN – Relatives of a Bredasdorp man serving a life sentence for the 2013 rape and murder of Anene Booysen still believe in his innocence.

Before she died the 17-year-old victim told police multiple men had attacked her, but only Johannes Kana was jailed.

Seven years into his sentence at a free state prison, Kana has told Eyewitness News he wants his case reopened.

Kana had confessed to raping Booysen, but he has never admitted to killing her.

* War on Women: Remembering Anene Booysen

He now says he is innocent and only pleaded guilty to rape, because he didn't know any better at the time.

However, Kana won't easily get another day in court as criminal defence attorney William Booth explains.

“You’ve got to give legal reasons, and factual reasons and that depends on whatever evidence was presented in the case. But its far more difficult when you have pleaded guilty.”

He said while it would be difficult to have the case reopened, it's not impossible.
“What he now would have to do, he would have to apply to the court – the judge who convicted him – for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal and he would have to set out his reasons.”

Booth says if that's unsuccessful he can petition the supreme court for leave to appeal.

“If the judge that sentenced him refuses him leave to appeal, then he has another step he can do; he can petition the SCA for leave to appeal. So it’s either the judge grants him leave to appeal, and then the test is there a reasonable chance that another court may come to another decision."

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