In 1995, the SAPS and the State Prosecutor erred when they released Francois Coetzee, an alleged rapist and attempted murderer, on bail. It was an astonishingly criminal act as they were aware of his violent history (and he was already on a 4 year suspended sentence for indecent assault).
Alix Carmichele, a Knysna photographer who had repeatedly appealed against his release, became his next victim. In the once tranquil suburb of Noetzie, Francois beat Alix with the handle of a pick-axe and attempted to stab her several times in the chest. Miraculously, she escaped (read the full details at Carte Blanche – below the current featured video).
Alix sued the state for failing in their “duty to care”. Her 12 year battle with the “justice” system resulted in a win for her…and for us because it set a legal precedent.
Francois was sentenced to 21 years but is now eligible for parole.
Leap of Faith, an SABC 3 documentary programme, featured and interviewed Alix Carmichele. Alix is a heroine and a shining example that no matter how daunting the odds can be against us, they are beatable! I encourage you to watch the episode below (if you have slow internet, wait for it to start and then Pause it for 2 minutes so that it can buffer):