After nine years a Benoni family will finally see justice for their daughter after she was brutally raped and murdered in 2011.
The high court sitting at the Benoni magistrate’s court found Jurgen Vandekeere, 42, guilty on Thursday. He handed himself over to police at the beginning of the year after years on the run.
Vandekeere was arrested for Chantelle Barnard’s death in April 2011. He was out on bail of R20,000 when he absconded and failed to appear before the high court sitting in Delmas for the start of the trial in September 2013.
In 2015, Sunday Times quoted private investigator Deon Pieterse, of P3 Investigations, who said he believed Vandekeere, a Belgian national, was back in the country and living in Benoni. It was suspected he had previously crossed the border into Mozambique.
Vandekeere finally handed himself over at the Benoni police station on January 15 this year.
He had pleaded not guilty to the crimes.
At the time of her death, Barnard was living with her mother Suzette and boyfriend Brandon Ackerman at a property owned by Vandekeere and his father Roland.
She went missing on April 1 2011 when she went to drop her house keys with Roland after the family had moved out.
Suzette found her daughter’s body that evening in Vandekeere’s house.
She was naked and had multiple stab wounds, including in her throat. Her hair was wet as Vandekeere had allegedly washed her body.
BY Alex Patrick