Two arrested in SA killing of 'beautiful American'

TWO YOUTHS were arrested yesterday in connection with the murder of an American university student stoned and then stabbed to death by a mob in Guguletu township, near Cape Town, on Wednesday.

Amy Biehl, 26, was to have flown back home to California last night after spending a year on a Fulbright scholarship at the University of the Western Cape. She studied women's issues but concentrated her energies into helping Cape Town's black community and developed close relationships with local African National Congress officials.

Kader Asmal, a law professor at the university and a member of the ANC's national executive, described her yesterday as 'a beautiful American'. 'She was in and out of the townships and was received well always. She was so gentle and so genuinely concerned with the emancipation and freedom of black South Africans. She had become one of us really, a part of the struggle.'

Biehl, whom Professor Asmal described as 'a very attractive blonde', was in Guguletu dropping off two black friends at their homes on Wednesday evening when a brick smashed through her car window. She was hit in the face but managed to drive on.

According to police and witnesses, youths lining the street pulled her out of her car and when she tried to flee was beaten and stabbed repeatedly until she died. The youths were chanting 'One settler] One bullet]', the battle- cry of the radical Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC). When one of her companions, Singiswa Bevu, pleaded with the attackers to let her go, one of them replied that they would not because she was 'a settler'. Ms Bevu was stabbed in the right hand when she tried physically to intervene.

Allan Boesak, the ANC chairman in the Cape Town area, did not hesitate to blame PAC, which enjoys more support in the Guguletu area than almost anywhere else in South Africa. 'This incident can only be described as racism in its crudest form,' Mr Boesak said. 'The ANC is deeply shocked and angered that such acts should take place at a time when all should be united in their efforts to achieve peace and racial tolerance in our country.'

Mr Boesak had pledged on Wednesday night that the ANC would use its township network 'to ferret out and identify these youths and to relay the information to the police'. After an all-night hunt by the police and ANC members, two suspects, aged 17 and 18, were arrested yesterday morning. The police said that the two would be charged with murder on Monday.

The dead woman's mother, Linda Biehl, was quoted yesterday as saying her daughter had wanted to give herself to the African people. Speaking from her home in Newport Beach, California, Mrs Biehl said: 'I was very worried about her, but she would say: 'Mom, I'm okay. I'm doing this because I want to do this. You can't live your life in a shell'.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all