- Full Name Alison Botha
- Occupation Motivational Speaker, Author, Former insurance broker
- Nationality South African
- Birthplace Port Elizabeth, South Africa
- Birth Date Sep 22, 1967
- Age 54 Years, 4 Months
"It's a human story. I know it's about violence, I know it's about rape … but it hits a nerve [with everyone]."
Alison Botha | Biography 2021Member of the non-profit health care provider Hawaii Pacific Health
Alison Botha was an insurance broker when on one night in December 1994, she was abducted, raped, and severely attacked by two unknown persons. She managed to reach the nearest road before a passing veterinarian saved her. The brutal rape case that shocked entire South Africa was widely called the Noordhoek Ripper Trial. The convicts were sentenced to life. A movie was released in her name based on her story, and she is the author of two books, 'I have a life,' and 'For the Tough Times.'
Alison Botha is the victim of the brutal rape that shocked South Africa in the 1990s, and the case was widely called the Noordhoek Ripper Trial.
Who is Alison Botha?
Alison Botha worked as an insurance broker before being abducted, raped, and severely incapacitated at the age of 27.
Botha was left to die by her perpetrators on the outskirts of the city. But she regained consciousness and made it to the nearest road from where a passing veterinarian saved her. The criminals were identified and sentenced to life in prison for rape, kidnapping, and attempted murder.
Botha then became a motivational speaker. She also won the 1995 Rotarian Paul Harris Award for 'Courage Beyond the Norm' 'Woman of Courage' from Femina magazine and was awarded Port Elizabeth's 'Citizen of the Year.'
In 1998, she published her bestselling book, 'I have a life,' which was sold in over 90,000 copies. She also released her second book, 'For the Tough Times,' in 2002.
In 2016, a documentary movie Alison, based on her first book, was released. The movie became the first South African production to be selected in the Los Angeles Indie Fest' Dances With Films'. In addition, the movie's director and writer, Carlini, was awarded the 'Best Director' and the 'Best Screenplay' awards at the 2019 'International Innovation Film Festival (IIFF).'
Alison Botha was born on 22 September 1967 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She grew up with her mother and 18 months older brother Neale after her parents divorced when she was 10 years old.
Botha went to Collegiate High School for Girls, Port Elizabeth, and graduated as the head girl in 1985. She traveled around for a couple of years and then worked as an insurance broker.
On a day in December 1994, Botha was returning home after dropping a co-worker at 1 am. She could not find space on her usual parking lot, so she went to another parking space within walking distance from her house. Then, while trying to get out of her car, an unknown man threatened her with a knife and asked her to shift behind and give handover the car keys. The man promised her that he wouldn't harm her if she follows his order and just needs the car for a while.
He drove Botha along, picked another person, and then to a deserted outskirt area of the city. Upon stopping at a location where no one would find them, they raped her and suffocated her to knock her out. They went on to stab her multiple times on her abdomen, which disemboweled her, and then went on to cut her throat.
Botha regained her consciousness while they were slitting her throat but could not feel anything on her body. She heard the men talking to each other that no one would survive such injuries, and so she chose to pretend dead. After they drove away from her, believing that she was dead, Botha chose to get in control of whatever body part she could.
Firstly, Botha wrote the names of the men on the stone she was lying on, using her blood and braced to get up. While moving, she found that her internal organs were on the surface of her body. Nevertheless, Botha chose to get up. She grabbed her clothes lying beside her, covered her abdomen with one hand, straightened her head with the other hand, and walked to the closest road hoping someone will find her.
To her luck, a veterinary student from Johannesburg, Tiaan Eilerd, who was on holiday, found her lying on the road. After finding her alive and conscious, he held her until medical help arrived.
When she was taken to the hospital, the doctors were shocked that they had never seen such injuries on one person and yet alive. Botha was found with 36 stab wounds on the abdomen, 17 slits on the throat, and sexually assaulted multiple times. She survived because none of the injuries had reached her arteries and her trachea was still intact, letting her breathe enough.
Botha recognized the perpetrators after the surgeries. They were found to be satanic followers Theuns Kruger and Frans du Toit. They supposedly enacted a ritual on her as an offering to Satan. The counts of her atrocities and her survival had shocked the entire nation, and her trial was famously named the Noordhoek Ripper Trial.
Nevertheless, the accused pleaded guilty to all charges, including kidnapping, rape, and attempted murder. They were convicted and were given life sentences in August 1995.
After the incident, Botha was left severely depressed and could not go back to her normal life. It took her a long time and constant help to move on.
Unable to pretend to be fine and not willing to remain traumatized, Botha quit her job in 1995 and decided to start an afresh journey. She asked her friend for opportunities and started giving public speeches for small incentives. She also traveled around the world talking about her abduction and rape and became the first South African woman to build up the courage to publicly speak about sexual assaults.
As a result, she was given the 1995 Rotarian Paul Harris Award for 'Courage Beyond the No'm.' She also received the 1995 'Woman of Courage' from Femina magazine and was chosen as the Port Elizabeth's 'Citizen of the Year.'
Botha addressed her overpowering survival story to tens and thousands of people in over 20 countries worldwide. She desired to make a difference with her words and relentlessly worked to bring changes in herself and others.
In 2020, Botha joined a non-profit health care provider in Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific Health as the executive board member.
In 1998, Botha published a book on her survival title', 'I have a Life.' It was ghostwritten by Marieann Thamm. The book was translated into seven languages and became a bestseller, selling over 90,000 copies.
In 2002, she published her second boo', 'For the Tough Times.'
Subsequently, a movie based on the attack and the book was offered to Botha. However, she wanted to control the contents of the movie, so she withheld the rights of the story until she came to a sound agreement with the director and writer of the movie, Uga Carlini.
Carlini was inspired by Botha's speech at a Rugby field in 1999. She wanted to imprint her spirit in the movie and worked accordingly with Botha to deliver the best version.
In the documentary movie Alison, Botha walked through her tale as a narration with artistic representation. During the promotional interview of the movie, Botha said, "It's a human story. I know it's about violence, I know it's about rape … but it hits a nerve [with everyone]."
The movie was released in 2016 and became the first movie in the history of South African cinema to be selected in the 'Dances With Films' of the Los Angeles Indie Fest. Carlini won the 'Best Director' and the 'Best Screenplay' award at the 2019 'International Innovation Film Festival (IIFF)' for her work in Alison.
A year after the attack, Botha met her longtime friend Tienie Botha, who was also depressed from his childhood trauma. They found common ground in their friendship and eventually fell in love with each other.
They got married in February 1997. On 14 November 2003, Botha gave birth to their first child, Danial. The couple welcomed their second child Matthew in 2006.
About revealing the attack to her children, Botha said", "I have never lied to my sons – I didn't want them to find out what happened by picking up my book or seeing me on TV – but I have never told them more than they were asking. My oldest son was about five when he asked about the scar on my neck. I just said, 'Mommy was hurt, and sometimes when you get hurt you get a scar afterwards.' And that was enough. They guide themselves in what they are able to digest. As they have got older and can comprehend more they have wanted to know more."
Shortly before the production of Alison began, Botha and Carlini learned that all the prison inmates convicted before October 2004 were eligible for release. The rule applied to Kruger and du Toit.
During the production, Du Toit made contact with Carlini from prison. He offered an on-camera interview in return for a signed letter of forgiveness from Botha and backdated revenues from her book and motivational lectures. Carlini turned down the offer, but the fear of criminals walking free manifested fear in Botha's life.
Botha then worked on a public petition to reject their paroles and keep them in jail. She also found that the parole process of Kruger had already begun without any notification to the victim. However, Botha continued her petition and pledged national and international viewers to take part.