The story of the rape and gruesome attack on Alison Botha is one that shocked the nation and has continued to gather international and national attention over the past 29 years. Through her various endeavours, Alison’s resilience, strength, and fight for survival have inspired people around the World.
As such, Women For Change are appalled that her attackers have been released on parole after having only served 28 years of their life terms.
*Trigger Warning for the following content
Alison Botha was abducted and raped by Frans du Toit and Theuns Kruger and abandoned in the bushes in Gqeberha. Frans Du Toit and Theuns Kruger slashed Alison’s throat, nearly decapitating her. The men stabbed her so many times that the number of wounds could not be counted, and her internal organs were falling out. Using one hand to hold her head on and the other to hold her organs in, Alison managed to write the names of her attackers in the sand and drag herself to the side of the road, where she was eventually found and rushed to hospital, and eventually made a miraculous recovery.
In 1995, Du Toit and Kruger were sentenced to life imprisonment. However, as on 4 July 2023, the pair, who have served only 28 years of their life sentence, have been released on parole.
According to the Department of Correctional Services, the relevant authorities thoroughly evaluated all available information and assessment reports, primarily focusing on rehabilitation and assessing risks associated with reintegrating lifers back into society. The Department claims that Frans Du Toit and Theun Kruger are “expected to comply with the specific set of parole conditions and will be subjected to supervision for the rest of their natural life.” The parole went ahead despite Alison’s pleas for the men to remain in prison and her fear that they could seek revenge on her once released.
As is evident, sexual violence is rampant within South Africa. The government and the Department of Correctional Services have repeatedly shown that they are neither willing to nor capable of protecting the public from violent offenders.
Therefore, Women For Change is shocked and dismayed that these two men, who callously and horrifically attacked Alison, showing no respect for her life or remorse for their actions, are being allowed back into South African society.
South African women and children are subject to an ongoing scourge of rape, violence, and murder. Therefore, Women For Change are completely opposed to perpetrators of such horrific crimes being allowed out on parole and back into society.
We stand with Alison and wholeheartedly believe that these men should remain in prison and continue to serve their life sentences. It is unconscionable that violent perpetrators are allowed to live freely while we live in fear for our safety and lives on a daily basis.