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'.'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Arts and Entertainment
John Hurt will voice Prince Bolkonsky in Radio 4's War and Peace
radioRadio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
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

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Recruitment Genius: Development Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...

Recruitment Genius: Accountant

£25000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?