Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Saturday, July 3, 1999 Published at 21:42 GMT 22:42 UK

World: Africa

Gang rape and murder stuns South Africa

Mourners carry the coffin of rape victim Valencia Farmer

South African political leaders pledged to fight crime at the funeral on Saturday of Valencia Farmer, the 14-year-old victim of a Cape Town gang rape and murder.

ANC provincial parliament member Shaun Beyleveld said Valencia's death violated the post-apartheid vision for children in the new South Africa.

[ image: Community action: Valencia Farmer's death sparked outrage]
Community action: Valencia Farmer's death sparked outrage
"We wanted them to be the tomorrow," he said.

"We want to enjoy our freedom."

His comments came in the wake of a spate of murders of children and gang rapes that have horrified the country.

Six-year-old Veronique Maans was buried last week after her body was found half-buried in a sandy area near Cape Town.

And on Friday, a 28-year-old Brazilian journalist was gang-raped by around six men who followed her as she was walking back to her Johannesburg apartment, according to South African police.

South Africa's Rape Crisis organisation reported this week that over one million South Africans are raped every year.

Mob justice

Valencia Farmer was left for dead last Sunday by her attackers - but crawled to the door of her house despite 42 stab wounds and a slashed throat.

[ image: Glenville Faro: Suspect for Valencia's murder and rape]
Glenville Faro: Suspect for Valencia's murder and rape
She summoned help by waving her arm and was able to identify some of the suspects with body signals to police before dying 20 hours later.

Four suspects were arrested and a fifth was questioned on Friday.

Her killing was so brutal that local residents of her mixed-race township held demonstrations and about 100 people attended the suspects' initial court hearing to demand that they be denied bail.

Police and soldiers surrounded the courthouse to keep protesters back and one suspect asked to be kept in police custody out of fear of mob justice.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

28 Jun 99 | Africa
South Africa announces crime crackdown

27 May 99 | South Africa elections
South Africa's crime crisis

05 Mar 99 | Africa
Silencing South Africa's gun culture

19 Jan 99 | Africa
South Africa's rape shock

Internet Links

South African Police Service

South African Police Service - Crime statistics

South Africa crime links

South African Government

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

Sudan power struggle denied

Animal airlift planned for Congo

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Zimbabwe constitution: Just a bit of paper?

South African gays take centre stage

Nigeria's ruling party's convention

UN to return to Burundi

Bissau military hold fire

Nile basin agreement on water cooperation

Congo Brazzaville defends peace initiative

African Media Watch

Liberia names new army chief