A 23 years old woman, Veronique Makwena has cut off the penis of a man who she suspected to have raped and killed her five years old daughter.
Veronique Makwena is charged with attempted murder alongside her sister-in-law Noxolo Maneli and family friend Siyabonga Pakade for attacking a man after the body of her daughter Chantelle was found in a public toilet.
Lawyer Fundile Matoto, who agreed to represent the women without fee after the case drew national attention, does not deny the attack took place but said the charges should be reduced.
Chantelle went missing from her home in Port Elizabeth in August this year while Makwena and her sister went to the shops and back, 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 not seen.
Veronique said she spent all night searching for the five-year-old but could find no trace of her.
Her 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 women are accused of cutting off his penis.
The man was rushed to the hospital where he named Makwena, Maneli and Pakade as his attackers. He penis was reattach as he underwent surgery.
Veronique was arrested shortly afterwards and kept in custody for two weeks until charity Enough is Enough helped raise funds to pay her bail and buy her groceries.
The case has attracted national attention, including NGO Project Inmate, who published photos of Makwena ahead of her trial.
The case has been adjourned till February 2020 while investigation is still going on.