The two men accused of killing Bredasdorp teenager Anene Booysen must not be granted bail, says Women and Children Minister Lulama Xingwana.
"We are saying to the courts today there must be no bail ... ," she told reporters on Tuesday after the appearance of Jonathan Davids and Johannes Kana in the Bredasdorp Magistrate's Court.
Xingwana said tough sentences could be a deterrent to criminals that abused and killed women and children.
The men appeared for the rape and killing of Booysen (17), who was found at a local construction site on Saturday, February 2, after visiting a club the previous night. She had been gang-raped and disembowelled.
Xingwana attended the court hearing and sat next to Booysen's relatives, comforting them with hugs and words. The case was postponed to February 26 for bail applications.
The two men hid their faces with a towel and jacket. The court ruled on Monday that their faces not be shown in the media because the state believed this could jeopardise the ongoing investigation.
Xingwana said government was leading "from the front" when it came to crimes against women and children.
Police had a sexual offences unit and units for protecting families and children. A concerted effort was also being made to establish sexual offences courts. When asked if government would reinstate the death penalty for such crimes, Xingwana said this was against the democratic values of the country. "It is against our ethos of human rights."
She said the country would not consider castration of rapists as practised by select countries. "We will not do anything that is illegal as government. Well, we believe in human rights of all people and believe the courts are the body that should be given the authority to ensure the law takes its course."
The minister said the entire nation shared in the grief of Booysen's family and that her death would not be in vain. – Sapa