Man accused of rape and murder that shocked South Africa is released

by Reuters
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 17:16 GMT

Artwork is painted on the windows of a pre-school in Cape Town's Khayelitsha township February 17, 2010. South Africa has the highest rate of rape in the world, including child and baby rape, with one person estimated to be raped every 26 seconds, according to aid groups and local organizations. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

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Case of two men who allegedly raped, mutilated and killed a teenage girl had outraged a country hardened by some of the world's highest rates of sexual violence

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African prosecutors dropped charges on Tuesday against one of the two men charged with raping, mutilating and killing a teenage girl in a crime that outraged a country hardened by some of the world's highest rates of sexual violence.

Prosecution spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the man had been released from custody because there was not enough evidence to take him to trial.

The victim, Anene Booysen, 17, was found at a building site in the town of Bredasdorp, 130 km (80 miles) east of Cape Town, in February with horrific wounds that included having her stomach slit open to her genitals.

Before she died a few days later in hospital, she named one person she said raped her. Police at the time suspected she had been gang-raped and arrested three people to faces charges of rape and murder.

Prosecutors later decided to bring charges against just two of them.

"The police have finalised the investigation and up to now there is only one accused that is involved," Ntabazalila told national news broadcaster ENCA on Tuesday. "There are no other accused that have been identified."

After the murder, President Jacob Zuma expressed "shock and outrage" and called for the harshest possible sentences for the people who attacked Booysen.

Anti-rape campaigns were launched nationwide in Booysen's name while crowds chanted "enough is enough" outside court when suspects in the case appeared.

There are about 180 rapes a day reported on average in South Africa but few people are ever arrested. Even when suspects are caught, only 12 percent of cases end in conviction.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz and Wendell Roelf; Editing by Pravin Char)

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