Amy Biehl's Family to Visit S. Africa

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The family of Amy Biehl will travel this Friday to the war-torn township in South Africa where their daughter was murdered in late August.

Linda Biehl, Amy's mother, said Tuesday that she, her husband, their two daughters and son, will fly to Johannesburg with Scott Meinert, Amy's boyfriend. First, the family will make a stop at Stanford University, where a memorial service will be conducted for Biehl.

"It's a personal reason to go," Linda Biehl said. "We want to make sure that all factions, all people, realize we are going there personally and to encourage the democratization process, letting their democracy emerge."

The weeklong visit is jammed with activities, beginning with a Sunday service planned in the Guguletu Township where the 26-year-old Newport Beach scholar was fatally beaten by a black mob. The family plans to visit the exact spot where she was stabbed to death Aug. 25.

At the time of her murder, Biehl had been attending the University of the Western Cape and helping with the country's first-ever free elections early next year. She was attacked by an angry mob of 100 black youths while driving three black friends home, three days before she was to return home. Six people have been held in the slaying.

Besides the service, the Biehl family and Meinert will visit a park in Cape Town where a tree will be planted in Amy's honor, will meet with human rights organizations with which she was affiliated and dine with the mayor of Cape Town.

Linda Biehl said the family had chosen next week to make the emotional visit because of various dedications being made in Amy's memory, including the opening of a juvenile justice conference beginning Friday and the creation of a new day-care center in the township of Pietermaritzburg.

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