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Residents bay for blood as Tazne van Wyk’s alleged killer is charged

Published Feb 22, 2020

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Cape Town - Angry residents stormed the courtroom, torched homes and flipped a car as outrage seized the city when Tazne van Wyk’s alleged killer was charged at Goodwood Magistrate’s Court.

“Mr President, this child’s blood is on your hands,” screamed an angry protester as crowds gathered at the court.

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Moehydien Pangaker, 54, was charged with the kidnapping and murder of 8-year-old Tazne.

Protesters carried placards which read “No bail go to jail” and “Protect our children”, while others carried Tazne’s picture.

Tazne’s body was found in a stormwater drain in Worcester on Wednesday night, two weeks after she was last seen buying an ice lolly at a tuckshop metres away form her home in Ravensmead.

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Pangaker, an ex-convict who had recently moved into the same area, was tracked down to Cradock in the Eastern Cape, where he appeared in court and was charged with kidnapping. He was then transported to Cape Town where police further questioned him, which led detectives to the gruesome discovery of Tazne’s body.

On Friday, angry residents stormed the courtroom where proceedings were delayed. At one point, a court official threatened people, who came to support the family from as far afield as Piketberg, that the matter would be moved to the prison if calm was not restored.

Earlier, fired-up residents destroyed part of the court fence as they tried to access an already-packed court building. Inside Courtroom C, tensions ran high as people pushed and shoved to catch a glimpse of the alleged killer, who covered his face. His lawyer, Nico Janse van Rensburg, told the court that his client had been assaulted by police and had sustained injuries to his neck, ribs, arms and legs. He would not apply for bail but could do so at a later stage.

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“We want to see his face,” demanded some of those in court as Pangaker covered his head with his shirt throughout the proceedings and as he was led back down the holding cells. Emotions ran high inside and outside the court, with Tazne’s supporters banging on doors and chanting “We want justice”.

Police and court officials had a tough time controlling the crowds. At one stage Tazne’s father, Terence van Wyk appealed to the raucous crowd for calm. Later on, police battled to restore calm as angry mobs went on the rampage, overturned a car and torched houses where Pangaker allegedly stayed and held Tazne in Parow.

Family spokesperson and co-ordinator for One Billion Rising South Africa, Stephanie Heneke, said the Van Wyk family was “broken”. The organisation also demanded an apology from

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President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“They need to explain to us how this man was allowed out. He was already in prison for rape and murder. We will take this up with the Department of Correctional Services and the president,” she said. Heneke added that their demands included speedy DNA results and a more efficient court process so that victims’ families were not further traumatised by lengthy court cases.

Singer Craig Lucas’s mom, Jenny Lucas, who came to support the Van

Wyk family, said she blamed the

government for Tazne’s death.

“If they didn’t give him parole, Tazne would be alive. The system sucks. Our innocent children are being raped, killed and dumped,” she said.

Rodnick Ockhuis, a pastor and community leader from Elsies River, believed a breakdown in relations between SAPS and residents may have played a part in the disappearance and, ultimately, the death of the young girl.

“Justice failed us. This is why we are angry. This child’s body was chopped up and stuffed in a sewerage drain,” he said.

The DA Women’s Network (DAWN) and the DA in Parliament will embark on a full review of the parole system by submitting parliamentary questions to Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola.

DAWN wants to know on what conditions perpetrators are granted parole, government policy regarding parole release and how parolees are monitored.

The matter was postponed to April 17 for further investigation.

Weekend Argus

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