Remember Anene Boysen

By: Anele Gcwabe

Age: 17

Province: Western Cape

Died: 02 February 2013

Anene Boysen died a few hours after her mutilated body was found. She was gang raped, disembowelled and left to die at a construction site in Bredasdorp, Western Cape. The last thing she said to her foster mother, who was with her at Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, were “I’m tired and sore”.

On a Friday night, Anene went to a pub, about six blocks from her home. Her mother warned her not to stay out late. At about midnight, Olivier went to the bar and told her daughter to come home. “She told me that she still wanted to stay. I left her and told her not to come back later than 01:00.” Olivier told Cape Times.

It is- apparently- a crime for a woman to go to a bar in South Africa. Anene Boysen should not have stayed too late. She had no business walking alone in the dark. She asked for it.

All Anene wanted was to enjoy her life.

Olivier was called out by neighbours at 05:00, and told that a girl had been brutally raped and injured. Olivier said that she immediately knew it was Anene when she saw the teenager’s shoes protruding from the sheet covering her.

When the teen saw her foster mother in hospital, she cried out: “My ma, my ma, help my [My mother, my mother, help me].” Reported the Beeld.

“She was so strong,” said her aunt, Pauline Harmse. “She even told her mother who had done this to her. Then she said she was cold and her mother covered her with a blanket.”

Her fingers, legs also broken. Anene’s mother said: “I was shocked. I was not prepared for what I saw. My child’s face was all beaten up. Her intestines were lying in front of me on the bed where she was lying. I held her hand. She said she was tired and sore”.

Olivier also told the Cape Times that Anene had a cut to her neck and private parts.

Police said that Anene’s fingers and legs were broken. Her aunt Wilma Brooks told the Cape Argus that her throat had been slit and “a broken glass bottle had been lodged in her”. Anene’s mother had died when she was very young and she was taken in by the Oliviers  who raised her as their own despite serious financial problems. “My brother and his wife accepted the children as their own. Anene was a very loving person,” Harmse said.

Anene had to leave school in Grade 7 to help support the family and sometimes worked at building sites. Her body was found at a building site where she worked. Harmse said the family were shocked to find out who was arrested for her rape and murder. “We know him. We never thought he could be capable of something like this. Anene’s mother is not dealing with this. She cannot even speak any more.”

Isn’t it tragic that often, the perpetrator is someone we know? The family knows one of Anene’s rapists. He is probably someone Anene would have trusted to accompany her home after a night out. But, we’ll never know the full story because the only person who can tell it accurately, was slaughtered to death. Today, we #RememberHer .


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