Terence Manuel, father of Tazne van Wyk, 8, who was found dead on Wednesday after going missing two weeks before.  Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Terence Manuel, father of Tazne van Wyk, 8, who was found dead on Wednesday after going missing two weeks before. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

The law has failed us, says Tazne van Wyk’s father

By Tshego Lepule Time of article published Feb 23, 2020

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Cape Town - As outrage over 8-year-old Tazne van Wyk’s killing mounts, her grieving parents are demanding answers on how her alleged killer was a free man when his criminal record included murder, child abuse and culpable homicide.

Moehydien Pangaker, 54, was charged on Friday with the kidnapping and murder of Tazne.

Her traumatised father, Terence Manuel, said: “I want to know why he received parole so many times. It is unacceptable for people like him to roam the streets and prey on children. This country and its laws have failed us.”

Pangaker has 11 convictions dating back to 1981 including murder, car theft, assault, housebreaking, culpable homicide and child neglect.

His sentences vary from six lashes, a R50 fine to two years’ imprisonment for murder in a 2001 Kuils River matter.

According to his criminal and parole history provided by the National Prosecuting Authority, Pangaker broke his parole at least three times in the past 17 years. The authority’s Eric Ntabazalila could not verify the two-year imprisonment.

Tazne’s body was found in a drain in Worcester on Wednesday night after Pangaker pointed out the location following his arrest in Cradock in the Eastern Cape.

Correctional Service’s Provincial Commissioner Delekile Klaas confirmed Pangaker was granted parole twice in the culpable homicide matter, despite breaking the conditions after his first release.

“Parole is granted by the board when an offender has been evaluated, his behaviour is assessed as well as the programmes completed while on the inside. But the problem is offenders are on their best behaviour when they are under constant supervision.

“Once released, offenders who are classified high-profile (murderers, gang members and rapists) are usually checked in on by officer six times a month to make sure they comply. We can’t put officials at the gates of offenders,” Klaas said.

But Tazne’s relatives are now demanding answers from the Department of Justice and Correctional Services and the Presidency on how Pangaker had been released on parole.

Manuel said while he dreaded seeing the body of his eldest daughter at the morgue in the coming days, he just wanted to hold her one more time.

“I’m preparing myself and her mom for anything when we get to see her. But all I want is to hug and kiss her for the last time. I want to tell her I’m sorry for not protecting her from this.

“Seeing him (Pangaker) in that courtroom was difficult; I saw the monster who took my child away. I wanted to pull one of police guns on him, but I will not turn myself into the monster he is. We are not animals, but he is a predator and he is still being taken to hospital for treatment by police. Where was treatment for my daughter when she lay dead in a drain?”

An emotional Manuel sobbed as he described the last time he saw Tazne walk to a shop in the yard where Pangaker lived.

On Saturday, the missing persons’ organisation Pink Ladies held a drive to have children in the area registered and have their most recent information stored on a database.

Weekend Argus

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