“The pre-trial conference will be to check whether all parties are ready to go to trial,” said NPA Western Cape spokesman Eric Ntabazalila. “It’s to make sure the evidence is available, [and] whether financial instructions have been given, for example.”
Johannes Kana, 21, last appeared in the Bredasdorp Magistrate’s Court in July, when his trial was transferred to the high court. His trial will start on October 7 in the Swellendam Circuit Court.
“It is taken to the circuit court in Swellendam because it is the only facility in the area that has all the equipment for a high court case, and it is bigger than the magistrate’s court rooms in Bredasdorp,” Ntabazalila said. Kana would remain in custody.
The State alleges Kana unlawfully and deliberately sexually penetrated Booysen with his penis or with another object not known to the State, between February 1 and 2 this year, near Kleinbegin, Bredasdorp. It alleges that Kana then used his hand or another object to disembowel her, which resulted in her death at Tygerberg Hospital on Saturday, February 2.
In May, the State dropped charges against Kana’s co-accused, 22-year-old Jonathan Davids. At the time, Ntabazalila said an investigation had revealed there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction. “We understand the sense of shock and outrage that was induced by the incident. However, as the prosecution we can only prosecute successfully on sufficient evidence,” he said.
Before she died, Booysen said from her hospital bed that five or six men were involved in the attack. She named “Zwai”, which was both the nickname of Davids and another man said to live in Zwelitsha.
Davids and Kana confirmed they were at the same pub as Booysen that night.