Alison has life again in tough movie version
Survival tale stunned nation
THE two men convicted of raping and trying to kill Alison Botha in Port Elizabeth 22 years ago were shocked when they heard they were not charged with her murder, but her attempted murder, the investigating officer in the matter says in a new documentary about Alison’s life.
Melvin Humpel tells of the disbelief he was greeted with when he told Frans du Toit and Theuns Kruger of the charges against them, which they thought were a mistake.
They had raped, disembowelled and slit Alison’s throat, leaving her lying on a dirt road convinced she would not survive. A murder charge was what they expected, Humpel says in the film.
A special screening of the film was held yesterday at the V&A Waterfront.
It will be released on August 12.
Du Toit and Kruger abducted Alison outside her Port Elizabeth home in a crime that sent shock waves around the country in December 1994. They drove her in her car to a deserted area where they raped her, stabbed her several times in the abdomen, and slashed her throat.
So blasé were her attackers that having helped themselves to her belongings, they used the same knives they had stabbed her with to butter their bread for breakfast the next day.
In her will to survive, Alison held on to her almost severed head and, with the aid of a shirt she had been wearing, pushed her protruding intestines back into her body as she dragged herself to the nearest road to seek help.
The chilling details are retold by several people who came in contact with Alison following the attack – from the veterinary medicine student Tiaan Eilerd who saw her bloody and numb body in the middle of the road and helped her to the hospital a few hours after the attack, to investigating officer Humpel and the prosecutor and the judge who sentenced the rapists to life in prison. They bring Alison’s story to life is this sad yet triumphant manner in the film.
The two surgeons who operated on Alison, her former colleague and the co-author of her 1998 book I Have Life, Marianne Thamm, all describe details that help the viewer piece the story together.
The film also highlights the additional trauma Alison had to endure identifying the suspects and relaying her story during the trial. She speaks of how she switched off during proceedings, often remembering that the matter was about her only when her name was called. Alison herself describes the story of her ordeal and her life as a journey which has brought many survivors hope. Starring Christia Visser as a young Alison, the film will be screened at selected Nu Metro cinemas. firstname.lastname@example.org
A special screening of Alison was held yesterday at the V&A Waterfront. It will be released on August 12.
Stills from Alison, a movie based on the rape and attempted murder of Alison Botha.