‘He discarded my child like an animal,’ Chantell Matthysen’s mother speaks as alleged Boland serial killer trial concludes

Slain Chantell Matthysen, 21, from Kuils River went to Wellington believing she had a job lined up. Picture: Facebook

Slain Chantell Matthysen, 21, from Kuils River went to Wellington believing she had a job lined up. Picture: Facebook

Published Feb 13, 2024


As the trial concludes against the alleged Boland serial killer Johan Williams in the Western Cape High Court, his last alleged victim’s mother said the emptiness will forever remain in their home.

Carol Petersen, 51, from Kuils River is the mother of slain Chantell Matthysen, 21, who disappeared in June 2018.

Her body was found in July 2018, on Aubon Rue Farm.

She had been raped and strangled.

The alleged Boland serial killer, Johan Williams. File Picture: Independent Newspapers

The young mother is believed to have been Williams’ last victim.

Williams faces 20 charges, including three counts of murder, six counts of rape, six counts of kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH), two counts of attempted rape, and a count of failure to comply with a protection order.

The alleged serial killer lured women to their deaths with the promise of a job.

On Monday, Williams was set to testify in his own defence, however, he retracted and instead chose his right to remain silent.

Speaking to IOL, Petersen was bewildered at the fact that Williams was messing around with the judicial system and the families of his victims.

“I am angry. He is always messing us around. This is how this whole trial has been structured around his nonsense. Coming to court is one’s time, having to spend money on taxi fare, and getting up early. We are just glad this nightmare is finally coming to an end,” Petersen said.

Matthysen met Williams in 2016 when she had taken the wrong train with her son and ended up in Wellington.

At the time, Williams worked at the Wellington train station as a security guard and offered the mother and son shelter for the evening.

He also assisted in getting them back home safely. His kind gesture resulted in Matthysen’s grateful family inviting Williams and his family that year for Christmas lunch. Over time, he befriended the family.

In 2018, Williams told the young mother his wife had a job lined up for her as a packer on a wine farm.

In June of that year, Matthysen went to Wellington to meet Williams for her new job.

Petersen, who knew her daughter inside out, realised something was amiss when the texts sent from her daughter did not match up to their usual chats, this included language, spelling, vocabulary, and grammar.

Matthysen’s failure to contact her mother for two days resulted in Petersen’s motherly instincts kicking in and ensuring police reacted to her suspicions. Her daughter’s belongings were found in Williams’ Wendy house.

Cops arrested him at Ongegund Farm after a tip-off.

Before his arrest, Williams stabbed and raped his ex-girlfriend multiple times at knifepoint.

Williams allegedly negotiated with police to reveal where he had buried Matthysen, in exchange for a visit from his daughter.

As the trial has taken years to reach an end, Petersen told IOL she has a new-found respect for the judicial system, as before this, she never understood all the procedures that needed to take place.

“Our lives are literally at a standstill. We just want justice and finally, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. I must say, police definitely did a good job,” she said.

Matthysen was the baby of the family, and Petersen said her son, who is the eldest, has since become introverted after his sister’s horrific death.

The family continues to try to deal with her death, but Petersen said at times she gets angry with herself for forgetting her daughter is gone.

“After six years I still get angry with myself because I still find myself taking a plate out for her at supper time.

“Her loss hurts. What hurts me even more is that her son, who she cherished, has to grow up without a mother. She may have been a young mother, but she was a great mother. And now, she is missing all the big moments in his life,” Petersen explained.

Matthysen’s son is now nine-years-old.

Petersen described her daughter as vibrant and the one who brought light and life to their home.

“She loved Christmas time, and now, with Valentine’s Day here, our house would have been decorated with balloons,” she said.

“The fact that he discarded my child like an animal angers me. He also told his lawyer he had a relationship with Chantell which is a blatant lie. She respected him and referred to him as ‘uncle’,” Petersen said.

“He did not just kill my child. He killed a household. He killed a family. He killed a friend. He killed a community,” she added.

Closing arguments from the defence and State is under way, thereafter a date for judgment in the matter will be determined by the court.

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