Ali­son has life again in tough movie ver­sion

Sur­vival tale stunned na­tion

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - NOLOYISO MTEMBU

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.


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.

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