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Double life sentence handed to 5-year-old Chantelle Makwena’s killer

Little Chantelle, from Rocklands in Nelson Mandela Bay, was brutally raped and killed in August 2019 by a man out on bail for another rape. He dumped her lifeless body in a pit latrine.

Her killer, Ricardo Gysman, initially pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and the murder but was found guilty and was today sentenced in the Gqeberha High Court to two life sentences and 10 years, to run concurrently.

Due to the backlog in processing DNA at the SAPS National Forensic Laboratory, it took two full years after Chantelle’s murder before Gysman was arrested and appeared in court. Gysman was initially taken in for questioning shortly after the rape and murder of Chantelle but was released pending the results of DNA testing.

It is unacceptable that a violent criminal like Gysman was allowed to walk free in our community for two years because the SAPS allowed the DNA backlog to balloon to millions of untested samples at the time.

The DA has been at the forefront of fighting against the massive DNA backlog precisely because of tragic cases like the one of Chantelle Makwena. Victims and families of victims of violent crime suffer the most horrific and unacceptable extended trauma from delayed justice because of these DNA backlogs.

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