Thursday, February 07, 2013
Second arrest in South Africa gang-rape murder
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African police have arrested a second suspect in the gang rape and murder of a teenager that shocked a country hardened to some of the world's highest levels of sexual violence.
The 17-year-old victim was sliced open from her stomach to her genitals and dumped on a building site in the town of Bredasdorp, 130 kilometres (80 miles) east of Cape Town at the weekend.
"Our investigations are continuing and more arrests are imminent," police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said.
The victim identified one of her attackers, a 22-year-old man, before she died. He and the 21-year-old second suspect, who was arrested on Wednesday night, are expected to appear in court shortly on charges of rape and murder.
The charges carry a mandatory life sentence.
The case has echoes of the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a New Delhi bus in December that triggered huge protests against the anti-female violence endemic in India.
Women's groups are seizing on the Bredasdorp case as a rallying point for protests in South Africa, where the high rate of sexual crimes means most attacks fail to stir widespread anger.
The Women's League of the ruling African National Congress has called for a national inquiry into rape and gender-based violence.
"The sad fact of the matter is this is not an isolated incident," the Women's League said in a statement. "It is encouraging to see so many South Africans, men and women, young and old, come out in anger and say 'Enough is enough.'"
(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Ed Cropley and Robin Pomeroy)