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Tazne van Wyk murder accused breaks down in the dock

Moehydien Pangaker in the Western Cap High Court. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Moehydien Pangaker in the Western Cap High Court. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 19, 2022

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Cape Town - On the second day of the long-awaited trial of Moehydien Pangaker, his twin sister took the stand for the state in the Western Cape High Court.

The 56-year-old man is facing 27 charges and, on Wednesday, pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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The charges include common assault, kidnapping, 12 counts of rape, child exploitation, child grooming, murder, sexual assault, incest, intimidation and the violating or desecration of a corpse.

Pangaker allegedly kidnapped, raped and murdered eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk.

The girl, from Connaught Estate, in Ravensmead, was last seen on February 7, 2020, after she left her home to buy a sucker lollipop at a shop, a few metres from her home.

Tazne van Wyk. Picture: Supplied

The child’s body was found in a stormwater drain, along the N1 highway in Worcester, 12 days later. Pangaker had pointed it out to police.

The girl was raped, bashed to death, and her one hand was cut off.

Nazley Pangaker took the stand and told the court her brother, his daughter and her three children came to stay with her at her Elsies River home for just over a week in November 2019.

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She said he arrived in a Uber with his daughter and children, one of whom is alleged to be his own child, allegedly just from Durban.

The sister testified that the young baby (Pangaker’s son) was about three months old at the time.

“I did ask about the child’s father and I was told the child’s father passed on. They were staying with the father in Durban,” she testified.

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Nazley told the court one day she came from work and they were just gone. Without any warning or message.

State prosecutor Advocate Lenro Badenhorst asked her to explain the day of February 8, 2020 to the court, the day Tazne went missing.

“Three ladies came to me and asked if my brother was by me. I said I last saw him in November. They asked if he brought a child to me and I said no. They asked for a photo, I didn’t have one as I lost my phone. I asked my cousin to send a photo,” Nazley testified.

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The court saw the photos of a bulky and muscular Pangaker shirtless wearing brown chino pants.

She said she later managed to obtain a number for her brother and called him, but the call dropped after two minutes.

However, she managed to have a long call with him the Sunday after Tazne’s disappearance, February 9, 2020.

“I asked him if he had the child and he said no. I told him to bring back the child and he asked if I also did not believe him. He said they were travelling but did not say to where,” Nazley told the court.

Badenhorst then entered an eight-minute recording of the phone call between the siblings as evidence.

During the call, Nazley can be heard pleading with him to return the little girl and he is adamant he does not have the child in his possession.

“I can’t sleep. People are looking for this child. I am sick. People are saying you have the child and went to Parow with the child. People are saying they saw you. The Somalian at the shop said you told the child: ‘come here, come here’,” the court hears Nazley says.

Pangaker responds: “She was at the shop. I saw her at the shop and went I walked she was sitting there”.

As the recording plays in court, an emotional Nazley breaks down in the witness box.

Upon seeing his sister crying, Pangaker also breaks down in the dock, wiping his tears with his face mask.

The recorded call continues to play and one can hear Nazley pleading with him to come back. She explains the ‘bond’ they have and tells Pangaker she doesn’t want to see him get hurt.

After this call, Pangaker was arrested by police in Cradock.

Nazley further testified she did not attend any court proceedings upon advice from a police official, however, she did visit her brother in Goodwood Prison in Cape Town after she heard he wanted to speak to her.

“I went to speak to him. He told me he did not kill the child. He said they (the child was with him) got a lift from a taxi and he was assaulted by two African men and the child screamed.

“We couldn’t speak further because I had to leave,” she testified.

However, during cross examination, Nazley had a more in-depth explanation about what transpired during her conversation with her brother at Goodwood Prison.

Pangaker’s defence lawyer, Advocate Saleem Halday said it was his client’s instruction that during the phone call he was scared and that’s why he said he didn’t know where the child was and was afraid he was going to be blamed for the child’s death.

“He didn’t sound scared,” Nazley testified.

Halday recapped on the alleged assault in the taxi, and mentioned two African men and an African woman, Nazley agreed.

“Do you recall him (Pangaker) saying anything about muti?” he asked.

“Yes, he spoke about muti, about the child’s hand was chopped off. I can’t remember precisely what he said,” Nazley testified.

The state’s next witness took the stand, however, the court was called into camera as the witness is a victim of Pangaker.

This case stems from 1993, where the victim who was 13 at the time and related to Pangaker, alleged that during a sleepover, she woke up to him fondling her breasts.

The court was closed for this testimony as the victim was a minor at the time of the incident.

The trial continues.

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