'Like an apparition,
conjured out of the darkness, a young man with light
blond hair pushed his face into the car. I immediately
spotted the knife. It was a long, thin weapon, almost
like a letter opener, with a tapering blade. It felt
cold and spiny as he pressed it to my neck. When he
spoke his voice, which was quiet and controlled, sounded
as though it emanated from a distant planet. But every
word thudded into my skull.
"Move over or I'll kill you," he whispered.'
And so began Alison's nightmare journey with the two
callous killers who were to rape her, stab her so many
times doctors could not count the wounds, slit her
throat 16 times and leave her for dead in a filthy
clearing miles from the city of Port Elizabeth which was
But Alison defied death. And more than that, she denied
her attackers the satisfaction of destroying her life.
The courage which allowed her to move beyond severe
physical and emotional trauma and to turn a devastating
experience into something life-affirming and strong, is
an inspiration to people everywhere.
The Noordhoek Ripper trial, as it was called, captured
the country's interest with its confessions of Satanism
and its exposure of random evil. One of the first South
African rape survivors to speak to the media, Alison has
in recent years spoken to thousands of people around the
country and abroad. Alison's story "I HAVE LIFE -
Alison's Journey", was one of the first books of its
kind to be published in South Africa, a country where
rape statistics are among the highest in the world and
is an invaluable survival guide. It has been classified
as a best-seller in South Africa and has continued to be
so since publication.
has been speaking on the professional speaking circuit
for several years. Her aim to 'make a difference' has
been overwhelming as she has spoken to countless
thousands of people which include large business
corporations, women and social groups as well as several
schools. She has addressed international audiences in
over 20 different countries including the USA,
Australia, Europe, Asia and Africa. Audiences sit in
rapt attention as Alison speaks of the brutally cruel
torture to which she was subjected and how she has
overcome the challenge of that experience by applying
her own ABC - Attitude, Belief and Choice. You learn to
recognise the importance of attitude at all times. You
will gain insight into the power of belief in yourself
and you will share of the freedom and responsibility of
making choices, no matter what happens in your life.
Alison wrote another book: "For the tough times:
After the September 2001 terror attacks in New York, she
gave motivational speeches to some of the survivors.
Among her awards are the Rotarians' Paul Harris Award
for Courage, Citizen of the Year in 1995 from her home
town, Port Elizabeth and Femina's first Woman of Courage
award in 1995.
Alison married Tienie Botha in February 1997 and on 14
November 2003 she gave birth to a 3.56kg baby boy.