South African prosecutors said Wednesday they had rejected a suspect’s guilty plea for raping a teenager after he refused to admit to her gruesome mutilation and murder.
Anene Booysen, 17, died in February after she was found on a construction site with her internal organs hanging outside her body in an attack that horrified the nation.
Johannes Kana, 21, pleaded guilty on Monday to punching, kicking and raping Booysen in a small town east of Cape Town — but not to killing her.
“His guilty plea did not correspond with the evidence available to the state,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesman Eric Ntabazalila.
The matter will now go to trial — with the state seeking a minimum life sentence instead of the 10 year minimum carried by a rape conviction.
Kana had denied carrying out the “extensive genital injuries” inflicted on Booysen “which caused her intestines to protrude from her genital area and ultimately, caused her death”, said Ntabazalila.
“He therefore denies that he murdered her,” he added.
Booysen died in hospital shortly after she was found in Bredasdorp, 180 kilometres (110 miles) east of Cape Town.
The prosecution alleges that her rape and murder both warrant minium life imprisonment.
Charges were dropped last month against another suspect, Jonathan Davids, for lack of evidence.
Booysen was said to have named him as she lay dying in hospital, using a nickname also shared by another local. Five or six friends were also involved.
Booysen’s murder and rape sparked an outcry in South Africa — even amid 65,000 annual sexual offences.
The case has been postponed until next month.