06.09.132:22 PM ET

Charges Dropped Against Accused South African Rapist

Brutal rape and murder of 17-year-old had made international headlines.

When 17-year-old Anene Booysen was raped in February, she spent some her last breaths telling at least two people who brutally attacked her and left her dying at a construction site, identifying a close friend, Jonathan Davids, and his friends. Davids, 22, was arrested along with two other men, and charged with Booysen’s rape and murder. But despite Booysen’s dying declaration, charges were dropped against Davids, and although the trial of the second suspect, Johannes Kanas, will begin Monday, many have little faith of a conviction—despite the fact that Kanas has confessed to raping her (but denied murdering her). About 64,000 cases of rape are reported each year in South Africa, but studies have shown that that number vastly underestimates the epidemic, since so many rapes go unreported—and it’s likely to stay that way, after charges can’t even be filed in case as brutal as Booysen’s.