A woman in South Africa was charged with attempted murder Thursday for hacking off the penis of a man who allegedly raped and killed her five-year-old daughter.

On Aug. 2, Veronique Makwena, 23, started searching for her daughter, Chantelle, after she went missing from their home.

Speaking to the local media, Makwena had said, "I left her with my friend who had been staying with us, because she was not well - I was going to the shop with my elder sister. We walked to the shops, which is some distance away, and when we got home my daughter wasn't there and it was night already."

The victim’s bloodied body was found in a public toilet near their home the following day. A month later, Makwena along with her sister-in-law confronted a man who they believed had raped and killed the girl. During the confrontation, they hacked off his penis. The man was rushed to a nearby hospital where he underwent successful surgery to reattach his penis. In the hospital, he named the two women as his attackers. Following this, the two women were taken into custody but were soon released on bail. The case attracted national attention and advocate Fundile Matoto offered to fight the case for them.

On Wednesday, the two women appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court where they were charged with attempted murder. Though their attorney did not deny that the attack took place, he asked for the charges leveled against them to be reduced.

"In my opinion, this case is a matter of assault, at most, grievous bodily harm,” he told media outside the court. The next hearing was scheduled for February. Meanwhile, no arrested were made in connection with Chantelle's murder.