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Calls mount for return of death penalty after Ramaphosa visits Tazne van Wyk's family

Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency

Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency

Published Feb 25, 2020


Cape Town - Elsies River community called for the return of the death penalty as President Cyril Ramaphosa grabbed the mic, preparing to talk to the angry community on Tuesday afternoon.

Ramaphosa visited parents of murdered Elsies River girl Tazne van Wyk, Terence Manuel and Carmen van Wyk, expressed his condolences to them and pleaded to support them during burial preparations.

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Ramaphosa apologised to the community.  "The suspect behind the killing of Tazne should not have been released because after he was released on parole he committed murder, that shows there is something wrote with our parole system."

He also said that together Justice minister Ronald Lamola who was also with Ramaphosa during the visit, said would assure that they would tighten the justice system. 

Some residents expressed their anger with posters pleading for justice. “Why are criminals taking over the streets and killing our poor children?” members of the community asked.

Video: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Community Pastor Alton Flanders said he would have loved if Ramaphosa could work with the community's non-government organisations, such as the ones that helped in the search, when a child is missing.

Missing Children South Africa national co-ordinator Bianca van Aswegen said: "We would like to have the Ramaphosa realise the major problem we have in the country, of our children going missing and being found raped and brutally murdered."

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"We need the government to stand up and assist organisations like ours where we deal with the sad reality every day of children being reported missing. Not all missing children get the attention they need, and every single missing child is of importance," Van Aswegen said.

She said it was shocking how offenders were being released and posing a danger to children and communities. 

"There is a massive need in change of our justice system that needs to change in this aspect for the safety of our children and communities."

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"Unfortunately every time we see a child go missing and all efforts and resources are used to find that child just to find another brutally murdered child is disheartening," Van Aswegen said, they would never give up the fight of making the country safer for the children.

Video: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said It was the job of the justice system to keep criminals behind bars.

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Fritz said if it was true that the suspect, who had previously been convicted and released 11 times, was able to get parole and commit violent crimes, "then our criminal justice system has failed our residents. Further investigation is needed into the systemic issues faced our parole system".

The murder suspect, Moehydien Pangaker, had been convicted and released 11 times and he was still able to get parole. His charges included possession of a stolen vehicle, assault, murder, theft and housebreaking. In 2008, he was sentenced for kidnapping, child abuse and culpable homicide and received a 10-year sentence.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo on Tuesday accompanied Tazne’s family to Worcester Forensic Pathology Laboratory to offer her support.

Fritz said Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez has also ensured that social workers were deployed to assist the family with the trauma.

He said Pangaker was released on parole in 2015, having served only seven years and 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."

However, he said clarity was needed on why Pangaker was not arrested after he absconded. "I will ask the Western Cape Police Ombudsman, Johan Brand, to urgently investigate this,” Fritz said.

He added that he has activated the Court Watching Brief Unit to monitor the case and ensure that it is not struck off the court roll due to the police inefficiencies.

After returning to Cape Town from Cradock, Eastern Cape, the suspect appeared in Goodwood Magistrates Court, and the case had been postponed until April 17, pending the police investigation. Further adding that the suspect would not be applying for bail and will remain in jail before appearing again in court.


Related Topics:

Cyril Ramaphosa