Her life will never be the same again; Veronique Makwena (23) is devastated by the death of her little daughter Chantelle, who was murdered, now the full wrath of the law is hot after her.
She decided to avenge the her child's death by cutting the penis of the alleged murderer, taking the law into her own hands, now she awaits trial.
Chantelle, also known as Pinkmeisie, was found dead in a toilet with a brick on her head, about 100m from their house.
She buried her daughter in August and in September, Veronique, Chantelle’s aunt, Noxolo Maneli and a family friend, Siyabonga Phakathi were arrested after they allegedly attacked a teenager they suspected of being the murderer or having had taken part in the five-year old’s killing. Now she’s out on bail and just wants to turn back the hands of time.
Veronique is not employed and she grew up on a farm on the just outside Port Elizabeth (PE), in an area called Rocklands.
“On the fateful day, at about seven or eight in the evening, I left with my sister to buy drinks at a shop along the main road. We left my daughter and my nephew in the company of my friend who was here visiting for a few days because she was not well.
“My friend was with her boyfriend. We know him because he also lives on the nearby farms,” she explained.
Upon her return at around 10pm, she noticed something: “The first thing I noticed was the absence of my baby girl, Pinkmeisie,” she told Move magazine, with tears in her eyes.
They asked both the friend and her boyfriend where Pinkmeisie was and nobody knew.
“We looked around but because it was already night, we had to stop and wait for the light of the next day. The next morning she was still not there, but her shoes were there. She would never go outside without her shoes on,” she narrated.
They searched even neighbouring farms and her daughter’s father’s home, but to no avail.
“The search party grew bigger and in the afternoon we decided to go look in a farmhouse below the one we live in. Then I heard screams.
“Someone shouted and screamed that she had been found. My daughter was found laying in the toilet floor, bleeding. She laid there on the cold floor – dead.
“All the time we were looking for her, she had been laying dead, a short distance from her home. I felt defeated, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to feel, I just felt sad – very sad,” she added.
They reported the matter to the police who only arrived later that night. “My baby was still laying there on the cement floor, with blood on her,” she recalled.
THE SHOCKING AFTERMATH
“Over a month later, there was still no word from the police. No arrests had been made and I didn’t feel good about what happened,” Veronique said.
When the rumour of a suspect in the neighbourhood began circulating, they went out looking for him. “I was with her aunt, Noxolo Maneli and Siyabonga Phakathi, our friend. We walked for more than 5km. We found him, in his father’s home, he was with two other people.
“We confronted him and he admitted that he was the one who had raped and killed my baby,” she said.
Veronique was overwhelmed with anger and they attacked him. “We beat him up, stripped him of his clothes and cut off his penis,” she added.
The teenager's penis was later reconnected and Veronique and her partners in the act were arrested on attempted murder charges.
She appeared in court and was granted bail but she couldn’t afford it. An NGO called Enough is Enough paid her bail, now she is waiting to hear her fate and for justice to be served, so she that she can mourn her daughter.
Her Pinkmeisie was a sweet and active child who knew when to say something or to be silent.
“She never went anywhere without one of us, she would quietly play next to the house with her little brother and her cousin,” Veronique said before breaking do own.
Colonel Priscilla Naidoo, police spokesperson in PPE, said no arrests have been made. “DNA was taken and sent for analysis,” she said.
She confirmed that a woman was arrested for attempted murder in relation to the vigilante attack and was released on bail.