Jurgen Vandekeere: Court finds rapist, murderer guilty
Andile Sicetsha

Nine years after he brutally raped, murdered and mutilated 20-year-old Chantelle Barnard, Jurgen Vandekeere has finally been judged by a court of law.

Court finds cold-blooded murderer guilty

Finally, the Barnard family was awarded closure in the tragic death of their daughter who was robbed of a life by the Belgian national.

According to reports, Acting Judge Portia Phahlane of the Pretoria High Court found Vandekeere guilty on charges of rape, murder and defeating the end of justice.

It took the court 10 days since the commencement of the trial to arrive at the conclusion that Barnard died in the hands of Vandekeere.

Based on court testimony noted in Benoni City Times, it’s believed that Barnard, who was a tenant of a property owned by Vandekeere and his father, was raped and killed at the house she rented in Brentwood Park, Benoni, on Friday 1 April 2011.

The 20-year-old had terminated her lease at the property and was meeting up with Vandekeere to conduct a final inspection and key handover.

The last time anyone heard from her was at noon. Friends and family tried to reach her but her phone was off. When police were sent to Vandekeere’s rental property, Barnard’s mutilated body was discovered. Her throat was severely slashed, there were clear signs of sexual assault and it was clear that the killer had washed her body afterwards.

How Jurgen Vandekeere went on the run for six years

The Belgian national was arrested soon afterwards. After a number of court appearances, where he had entered a ‘not guilty’ plea, Vandekeere was released on R20 000 bail, on Wednesday 4 January 2012.

He was scheduled to appear in Delmas High Court in September 2013 but at that time, Vandekeere had already hatched his plan to flee the country.

According to statements from private investigators, the Belgian, a fugitive at the time, flew to Kenya and then to Europe, where he stayed for all these years.

Often, he would be cheeky and find a way to sneak into the country to visit his family. However, on Wednesday 15 January 2020, his life on the run was brought to an end by his father who had convinced him to turn himself in.

Vandekeere was kept in police custody for the duration of his trial. Sentencing of the rapist-murderer has yet to be confirmed.