A 23-year-old mother has been charged with attempted murder for cutting off the penis of a man she suspected of raping and killing her 5-year-old daughter in South Africa.
Veronique Makwena was charged with attempted murder alongside sister-in-law Noxolo Maneli and family friend Siyabonga Pakade for attacking a man after the body her daughter Chantelle was found in a public toilet.
Makwena’s daughter Chantelle went missing on August 2 in Rocklands farm area, Port Elizabeth, while she and her sister went to the shops which was a long walk away.
By the time they arrived home it was dark and Chantelle, who they had left in the company of a friend, was nowhere to be seen.
Makwena said she spent all night searching for the five-year-old but could find no trace of her.
“I left her with my friend who had been staying with us because she was not well – I was going to the shop with my elder sister. We walked to the shops, which is some distance away, and when we got home my daughter wasn’t there and it was night already,” she said.
She added: “What boggled my mind was the fact that I could see Chantelle’s shoes lying on the floor. She never went outside without her shoes on.”
Chantelle’s bloodied body was eventually discovered slumped over in a public toilet the following day by Makwena’s husband, and a police investigation launched.
A man in his early 20s who was known to the family was taken for DNA testing, but police said they could not arrest him until results came back.
Around a month later Makwena, her 25-year-old sister-in-law and 24-year-old family friend allegedly confronted the man, saying he was responsible for the girl’s death.
During the confrontation, the three woman are accused of cutting off his penis.
The man was taken to hospital where he named Makwena, Maneli and Pakade as his attackers. He also underwent successful surgery to reattach his penis.
Makwena was arrested shortly afterwards and held in jail for two weeks which trigged national attention and a huge protest before they were released.
A judge adjourned the case until February next year pending further investigation.