Stefan van Niekerk and Rochelle Botha were found guilty of murdering two-year-old Chevonne Rusch in the Johannesburg High Court this afternoon. Both were also found guilty of rape, involving another minor child. They were convicted of various other charges as well, including attempted murder, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect.
Chevonne was only two years old when she was beaten to death last year. A pathologist assigned to the case determined that the cause of her death was bleeding on the brain, and revealed that her body was covered in 49 bruises.
According to Ian Cameron, Director of Community Safety at Action Society, this case makes it clear: If you neglect to report abuse or if you fail to protect or aid an abused child, you are just as guilty as the one who committed the act of violence. “Nothing will bring little Chevonne back. We will never know if she ever felt safe in her short life. She was failed by those called to care and protect her. The only good that has come from this, is that two cruel people are off the streets,”
Action Society plans to see this case through until the very end and will be back in court on 2 February 2024 when a pre-sentence report will be heard.