Justice in Chantal Makwena case, more than three years after brutal rape and murder

More than three and a half years after the horrifying rape and murder of five-year-old Chantal Makwena, her murderer-rapist finally faced the consequences of his gruesome actions. Ricardo Grysman was found guilty in the rape case of his first victim and guilty of both raping and murdering Chantal – lovingly known as “Pienk Meisie”.

Chantal’s family endured various delays during the prosecution. Grysman raped and killed Chantal and hid her beaten, half-naked body under dirt and bricks in a dilapidated toilet on 2 August 2019. He was arrested the next day but released shortly after. Until that time, he had been evading arrest on a previous charge where he raped a 50-year-old woman. The DNA forensic report for Chantal’s rape and murder was only completed two years after the incident. The police finally arrested Grysman on 30 July 2021, and he has been in custody since.

Desire Goodwin from Giving Gifts of Love in the Eastern Cape, who attended the proceedings, said that Grysman tried to obstruct justice by refusing to stand when requested and looking down when the judge spoke to him. He also claimed to be too sick to appear in court and fired his state-appointed legal representatives. He claimed that he enjoyed prison.

According to Desire, Grysman denied being near any of the victims even though there was DNA evidence to the contrary. He then changed his story and said his first victim consented to intercourse. About Chantal, he said that the five-year-old agreed to consensual sex on a few occasions and that they smoked tik afterwards.

“This has been a long struggle, and now at least, justice is served. Let’s hope that justice will also be served for all the other people, women and children who had to suffer similar abuse,” said Desire. “The prosecutors made it loud and clear that society is tired of these types of cases where children are involved.”

Action Society wholeheartedly agrees with Desire’scomments.

“Chantal’s murder and rape should never have happened. Had the accused not been released on the first charge, he would not have been able to kill Chantal. Had his DNA sample been taken upon arrest and there not been a DNA-processing backlog, he could have been linked to Chantal’s case much sooner. Had the criminal justice system been working properly, Grysman would have been sentenced long ago,” said Ian Cameron, Director of Community Safety at Action Society.

Grysman will be sentenced Friday.

Is there justice in SA?

At Action Society, we often see delays in the justice system. What do you think? Have you experienced this too?

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