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Wed Oct 01 10:18:59 SAST 2014

Wife's seven-year wait for justice

KHETHIWE CHELEMU | 19 January, 2012 00:23
Annelise Kriek in a coffee shop in Johannesburg after her former husband, Frederik Christiaan Bossert, was jailed for 12 years for raping and assaulting her Picture: ALON SKUY

After being raped repeatedly by her husband for 12 years, Annelise Kriek is relieved the nightmare has ended.

The Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court sentenced her 48-year-old former husband to an effective 12 years in jail last week for physically abusing and repeatedly raping Kriek during their marriage.

Kriek's court action became the first reported case of rape in a marriage since the Domestic Violence Act was introduced in 1996.

It has been a harrowing journey for 47-year-old Kriek. Not even a restraining order in 2004 stopped her by then estranged husband, Frederik Christiaan Bossert, from assaulting her.

Kriek - who gave permission for her name to be published - laid three rape charges against her husband but he was convicted last week on only one count, for which he was sentenced to a seven-year jail term.

He got four years for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and a year for malicious damage to property.

Behind the walls of their marital home in Noordheuwel - only a year after tying the knot after meeting at a night club three months earlier - Bossert beat up his wife almost every day, often without provocation.

The charge sheet outlines the horrific abuse suffered by Kriek at the hands of Bossert, a policeman turned businessman.

Shortly after their marriage, Bossert threw a trowel at her, resulting in injuries to Kriek's head.

He found her bathing and attempted to drown her in the bath by holding her head under water in April 2003. He also tried to strangle her.

He pulled her by her hair and bashed her head against the wall. He broke her pottery.

Bossert assaulted her by bending her fingers back and twisting her nose on her return from hospital where she had had an operation on her nose.

But Kriek stayed in her second marriage and hoped that her husband would change.

A court granted her a restraining order to stop Bossert from contacting with her in June 2004.

When he sentenced Bossert last week, the magistrate said he found it horrifying that a man could act in such a way towards his wife.

"Instead of protecting her, he trampled on her rights.

"Not only did he proceed to threaten her, he continued to rape her," he said.

Yesterday, Kriek said Bossert changed from being a loving and caring husband a year into their marriage and became violent, abusive and manipulative.

"I took a decision that I would not become part of statistics of being one of the murdered women of the country," she said.

Kriek said it took her 13 months and 22 days to obtain an interdict against her former husband.

She laid criminal charges against him in 2004.

It took seven years for justice to be served.

"To all abused women out there, no matter how difficult it may seem to get out, everything else falls into place in the end. In the end, everything works out," she said.

The violence from her second marriage did not stop Kriek from giving love another chance - she is now married to her third husband.

Bossert is appealing his conviction and sentence.

The magistrate is expected to rule this week.

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Wed Oct 01 10:18:59 SAST 2014 ::