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Western Cape government demands answers on how Tazne murder suspect was paroled

Mayor Dan Plato listens to angry community members who went to several suspected drug dens in Parow demanding the police to search the properties. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Mayor Dan Plato listens to angry community members who went to several suspected drug dens in Parow demanding the police to search the properties. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 25, 2020

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Cape Town - The Western Cape government on Tuesday said it wanted answers on how the man accused of kidnapping and murdering eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk was out on parole following a string of convictions.

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said the provincial government shared the anger of residents that the man who allegedly murdered Tazne had been released on parole despite having many prior convictions. 

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“It is the job of our justice system to keep criminals behind bars. If it is true that this suspect, who had previously been convicted and released 11 times, was able to get parole and commit this violent crime, then our criminal justice system has failed our residents. Further investigation is needed into the systemic issues faced by our parole system,” said Fritz in a statement.

According to reports that emerged after his court appearance last week, the charges faced by Moehydien Pangaker, 54, had previously included possession of a stolen vehicle, assault, murder, theft and house breaking. 

In 2008, Pangaker was sentenced for kidnapping, child abuse and culpable homicide and received a 10-year sentence.

He appeared in the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on Friday morning following his arrest earlier in the week. 

Tazne went missing from her Ravensmead home in Elsies River shortly after Pangaker moved into the neighbourhood. 

Her body was found by police in a storm water pipe outside Worcester following his arrest. He allegedly led authorities to the location of the child's corpse.

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He was arrested in Cradock, Eastern Cape, following an extensive investigation.

About 300 community members gathered outside when Pangaker made his first appearance. Emotions ran high inside and outside the court with supporters banging on doors and chanting.

“As the Western Cape government, we are taking a whole of society approach. The MEC of health, Nomafrench Mbombo, is accompanying Tazne’s family to Worcester Forensic Pathology Laboratory to offer support this morning.  The MEC of social development, Sharna Fernandez, has also ensured that social workers were deployed to assist the family with this trauma.”

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According to Fritz, Pangaker was released on parole in 2015, despite having previously broken correctional supervision. He was placed on parole supervision between October 2016 and May 2019. He then again absconded supervision and a case was opened. 

Clarity was needed about why Pangaker was not arrested after he absconded, said Fritz.  

“I will ask the Western Cape police ombudsman, Mr JJ Brand, to urgently investigate this. I have activated the court watching brief unit to monitor the case and ensure that it is not struck off the court roll due to SAPS inefficiencies." 

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The case was postponed to April 17 for further investigation. Pangaker was remanded in custody.  

African News Agency (ANA)

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