A man has been linked via DNA to the alleged rape and murder of a five-year-old girl in the Eastern Cape. File photo
A man has been linked via DNA to the alleged rape and murder of a five-year-old girl in the Eastern Cape. File photo

DNA links alleged rapist and murderer to crime committed two years ago

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Aug 2, 2021

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Cape Town - An Eastern Cape man was due to appear at the Gqeberha Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of raping and murdering a five-year-old girl two years ago.

The 24-year-old has been implicated in the murder and rape of Chantelle Makwena at their home in Withoogte in Rocklands, provincial police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said in a statement.

On August 2, 2019, at about 7pm, Chantelle’s mother, Veronica Makwena, 23, and her 34-year-old sister left their children at their home with the alleged suspect, his girlfriend and the girlfriend’s brother to visit a friend in the same vicinity. When the two women returned at 10pm, they found the front door open and neither of the adults there, Naidu said.

Chantelle was also not in her bed and when Makwena went to the neighbour’s house to check, she was not there either. Makwena then thought her daughter had perhaps gone to her father’s home on another farm and decided to look for her there the next morning. However, the child was neither at her father’s home nor that of her grandmother.

An intensive search for the little girl ensued and her father, Justine Manele, 29, later found his daughter’s badly battered and bruised body in a toilet near the Withoogte home. She was half-naked and had sustained serious injuries to her head and face.

On the same day, the community caught the alleged suspect and assaulted him, before police managed to take him away for his safety, although he had not been charged at the time.

His DNA was, however, collected and sent for analysis and at the weekend, police received the forensic report linking him to the murder and rape of the little girl. He was arrested immediately.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga said sexual violence against women and children was intolerable, adding that far too often the victims were targeted by those they loved and trusted. Ntshinga said the police would work with the National Prosecuting Authority on the case.

“As we enter Women’s Month in August, I urge every South African to be part of a generation that (will) put an end to gender inequality,” she added.

African News Agency (ANA)

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