Hundreds pack S.African court for gang rape trial

A South African man accused of the brutal murder of a teenage girl who was gang-raped and disembowelled appeared in a packed courtroom on Monday.

Local media reported that Johannes Kana covered his face with a towel as he was brought into the courtroom filled with journalists and the public in the small town of Bredasdorp.

In a case that has shocked even crime-weary South Africans, the 21-year-old is accused of taking part in the horrific attack on Anene Booysen, 17, in the town, which lies around 180 kilometres east of Cape Town.

The teenager was found at a construction site after her attackers reportedly slit open her stomach, took out her intestines and broke her legs.

She was buried at the weekend after dying in hospital. Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral.

Kana was told by magistrate Graham Cupido that he faced charges of rape and murder, the Sapa agency reported.

Kana's appearance drew considerable public attention, with onlookers peering through a courtroom window to see him, Sapa reported.

Inside the courtroom, the victim's family had winced when hearing that a sharp knife was used in the assault, the agency said.

The case was postponed until Tuesday, when Kana will appear with his co-accused, Jonathan Davids.

Around 65,000 sexual offences were committed in South Africa last year, according to official figures.