Minister Fritz visits families of Natasha Booise, nine-year old rape victim
Minister Fritz visits families of Natasha Booise, nine-year old rape victim, in Piketberg
On Friday, 7 January 2022, the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, visited the family of Natasha Booise who was allegedly gunned down by her boyfriend on Sunday 2 January 2022; as well as the family of a nine-year-old girl who was raped by a 29-year-old suspect in an unrelated incident.
The Minister was joined by Member of the Provincial Legislature, Loraine Botha; the Executive Mayor, Alderman Ray van Rooyen; Councillor Adam Du Plooy and; Mr. Billy Claassen, Executive Director of the Rural and Farm Workers Development Organisation.
The Minister has pledged the support and cooperation of the Department of Community Safety, which will be watching developments in these cases closely to ensure that justice is served.
Minister Fritz said, “the news of what these victims, and the broader community of Piketberg, have had to go through over the festive season, comes as a cold reminder of the reality of gender-based violence under which many of the women and children in our communities have to live. We make this call on the SAPS, including IPID, to ensure that the suspects in these cases face the full might of the law, so that justice is served and the message that there are consequences for actions is sent out and heard by all would-be criminals. We will never accept the actions of these monsters as a normal part of our society. As a society, we are outraged, and we reject their behaviour.”
According to reports, Booise was gunned down by the suspect while she was walking in Piketberg with family and friends, including her nine-year-old son who had witnessed her killing.
The suspect, an off-duty police officer, is presently in custody on charges of murder, attempted murder and discharging a firearm in a public area. The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is conducting the investigation.
In the unrelated rape incident, the 29-year-old suspect allegedly raped the nine-year-old victim on a farm outside of Piketberg on 24 December 2021.
The provincial Department of Social Development local office has been active in offering counselling services to the families.
Minister Fritz continued, “these two cases specifically show the kind of trauma exacted upon our young children. Ms. Booise’s young son witnessed his mother being gunned down in broad daylight. And in the other case: the trauma of being raped at the age of nine. That little girl is starting Grade 3 this year. We fight for them. We fight for our children, so that they can have a healthy childhood and upbringing. We must work towards families and communities in which our children are safe. We must stand together for our children.”
Minister Fritz concluded, “I would like to thank Member Botha, Alderman van Rooyen, Councillor Du Plooy, Mr Claassen and the entire community of Piketberg who have stood together in this time of tragedy. Continue to stand together and support each other, including and especially the families of the victims. I would like to thank the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority for the progress which the respective cases are making. I appeal to you to please ensure that no stone is left unturned in thorough, watertight investigations. We must all work together towards the eradication of these evils from our society for the sake of our children