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The Story Of Alison Botha, The Woman Who Survived Being Raped, Disemboweled, And Almost Beheaded

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

On December 18, 1994, Alison Botha was abducted close to her home in South Africa. By the end of the night, she had been the victim of one of the most brutal crimes ever known, she had been raped, disemboweled, and had her throat slit 16 times.

The survival story of Alison Botha is both brutal and inspiring
The survival story of Alison Botha is both brutal and inspiring

It was the night of December 18, 1994, and Alison Botha had been on a usual night out with her friends before driving back to her apartment in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The moment the 27-year-old pulled up in her car, a man forced his way inside, brandishing a knife.

The attacker demanded that Botha moved to a different seat, trapping her inside her own car. He took control of the vehicle and drove to go and pick up his accomplice. Botha quickly understood that the two of them had bad intentions towards her.

The attackers, who were later identified as Theuns Kruger and Frans du Toit, drove Alison Botha to a secluded area on the outskirts of town, they then proceeded to brutally rape her, disembowel her, and slashed her throat so deeply that she was almost decapitated. After the horrific attack, they left her for dead, but astonishingly, she was still somehow alive.

The Abduction Of Alison Botha

Alison Botha was born on September 22, 1967, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She spent most of her childhood living with her mother and brother following the divorce of her parents when she was 10 years old.

During her early years, Botha led a relatively normal life. She attended The Collegiate High School for Girls in Port Elizabeth, even serving as head girl. After she finished school, she spent the next few years travelling, before returning home and getting a job as an insurance broker.

The night that Botha was kidnapped, started just like any other night out with friends would have done, she enjoyed some time with her friends at the beach before Botha drove them all back to her apartment for pizza.

When most of the group of friends had gone home, Botha drove her last friend back to her house. After dropping her off she headed back to her apartment, but she never made it back inside.

Botha parked her car outside her apartment, but when she reached to grab a bag from the passenger seat the drivers' side door flew open, and in front of her stood a man brandishing a knife.

"Move over, or I'll kill you," the knifeman demanded.

Alison Botha, was as you would expect, absolutely terrified, and she did what she was told. The man took control of the vehicle and drove away at high speed. The man, who identified himself as Clinton, said: "I don't want to hurt you, I just want to use your car for an hour."

Clinton, whose real name later became known to be Frans du Toit, drove to another part of Port Elizabeth to collect his friend, Theuns Kruger.

The men then drove her to a secluded area on the outskirts of the city. Frozen with terror, Botha knew that something awful was about to happen to her.

Theuns Kruger and Frans du Toit are often referred to as the "Ripper Rapists"
Theuns Kruger and Frans du Toit are often referred to as the "Ripper Rapists"

Alison Botha And How She Survived The Attack By The "Ripper Rapists"

Theuns Kruger and Frans du Toit explained to Botha that they intended to both have sex with her, and they asked her if she was going to put up a fight. The 27-year-old who was terrified for her life, said no.

Both Kruger and du Toit, who had a history of violence against women, raped her. After the rape, the men quickly decided that they were going to kill her, initially, they attempted to suffocate her, Botha lost consciousness but she clung to life.

Both of the men became frustrated that Botha was still alive, they then took their brutality to the next level, stabbing Botha at least 30 times in her abdomen. Botha later recalled how du Toit wanted to specifically mutilate her reproductive organs.

When the men saw Botha's leg twitch, they decided that the job wasn't completed, they then slit her throat - 16 times.

Alison Botha later recalled: "All I could see was an arm moving above my face, left and right and left and right. His movements were making a sound. A wet sound, it was the sound of my flesh being slashed open. He was cutting my throat with the knife. Again and again and again."

She added: "It felt unreal but it wasn't, I felt no pain, but it was not a dream. This was happening. The man was slashing my throat."

When the attack finally came to a conclusion, Botha heard them admiring their work and speaking in Afrikaans, "Do you think she's dead?" one of the men said, the other replied with, "No one can survive that."

The two men were satisfied that they had killed Alison Botha, but little did they know that she was still breathing when they drove away.

Left alone and lying on top of the sand and broken glass, Botha knew she was going to die, "I had to at least leave a clue about who did this to me." She decided she would write the names of her attackers in the dirt, and below that she wrote: "I love Mom."

As she had almost given up all hope, Botha noticed headlights in the distance, shining through the bushes. If she could just manage to get herself to the road, someone might be able to help her.

Alison Botha with the man who rescued her on the road, Tiaan Eilerd
Alison Botha with the man who rescued her on the road, Tiaan Eilerd

It wasn't until she started moving towards the headlights that she realised the full extent of her injuries. As she pulled herself up, her head started to fall backward, she had almost been decapitated.

She remembered the feeling of something slimy protruding from her abdomen, it was her intestines. She was forced to use one hand to keep her organs from spilling out while using the other hand to literally hold on her own head.

Botha recalled, "As I struggled forward my sight faded in and out and I fell many times but managed to get up again until I finally reached the road."

As soon as she reached the road, she collapsed, somehow though, still alive. Luckily a veterinary student from Johannesburg by the name of Tiaan Eilerd, who was on vacation in Port Elizabeth noticed Botha lying in the middle of the road and stopped.

Tiaan Eilerd later said: "God put me on that road that night for a reason."

Before calling emergency services, Eilerd used his veterinary training to tuck Botha's exposed thyroid back inside her body.

Alison Botha was then rushed into hospital, the doctors were shocked by her horrific injuries, one doctor, Alexander Angelov, later said that he'd never seen such severe wounds in his 16-year career.

Although she was on the brink of death, Botha managed to pull through. She also remembered everything about both of her attackers. She quickly identified them from police pictures whilst she was still recovering in the hospital. This led to the pair of them being arrested shortly after, the press referred to them as the "Ripper Rapists."

The "Noordhoek Ripper Trial" caught the attention of South Africans everywhere as well as the global media. Both Kruger and du Toit pled guilty to eight charges, including kidnapping, attempted murder, and rape. Both of them were sentenced to life in prison in August 1995.

Although she survived the horrendous ordeal, Alison Botha suffered from both physical and emotional scars. To help her recover, she decided that the best thing to do was to face what had happened to her.

Alison Botha is today revered for her motivational speaking
Alison Botha is today revered globally for her motivational speaking

Shortly after her release from the hospital, Alison Botha began travelling all around the world, telling her story in over 35 countries. She was one of the first women who spoke publically about rape in South Africa, in both her home country and abroad. She inspired thousands of other survivors to come forward and tell their stories.

"The attack has put me on this path where I get to travel the world and help inspire other people," said Botha.

Alison Botha has since won several awards, in 1995, she won the Rotarian Paul Harris Award for "Courage Beyond the Norm" and Femina magazine's "Woman of Courage" award. She was also honoured as Port Elizabeth's "Citizen of the Year."

Since the brutal attack, Botha has written two books, and in 2016, the story of her survival was showcased in the movie Alison. Even today, she is still considered to be one of the most inspiring motivational speakers in the world.

According to Alison Botha, the greatest gift of all has been the birth of her two sons. During her attack, du Toit had specifically attempted to damage her reproductive organs. "This was his intention, which is what makes this news so positive," Botha said.

Botha once said: "Life can sometimes make us feel like the victim, problems and hardships and traumas are dished out to all of us and sometimes they can be divided very unfairly." "Remind yourself that you do not have to take responsibility for what others do... Life is not a collection of what happens to you, but of how you've responded to what has happened to you."

Now you have read the story of Alison Botha, make sure you read about the horrifying true story of Edward Paisnel, the Beast of Jersey.


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