One of the country’s most shocking child murders will be heard in the Western Cape High Court today, Monday 31 May, when 54-year-old Moyhdian Pangkaeker will face charges of murder, rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping involving the death of eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk.
Tazne’s brutal murder in February 2020 not only stunned her community of Elsies River but sent shockwaves throughout the country. Hundreds of protesters congregated at the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court last year to vent their anger at Pangkaeker who is known to the family.
TAZNE VAN WYK’S BODY WAS STUFFED IN A STORMWATER DRAIN
Tazne went missing while on her way to the tuckshop in the area. A frantic search for her yielded no results until police arrested Pangkaeker on suspicion of carrying out this ghastly crime. Pangkaeker was tracked down to Cradock in the Eastern Cape, and when questioned about the little girl’s disappearance led police to a stormwater drain near Worcester where they made the gruesome discovery of Tazne’s lifeless and brutalised body.
Details of the manner in which Tazne died were revealed soon after the discovery of her body. Among the charges, Pangkaeker faces are 11 counts of rape, two of kidnapping, three for assault, and others of incest, sexual assault, and desecrating a corpse.
According to the indictment: “He cut off her right hand and hid her body in a stormwater pipe next to the N1 highway. A post-mortem examination done on the body of the deceased concluded that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, neck and chest (unnatural).”
Pangkaeker, it turns out, has a long history of criminal activity over nearly 30 years, and involving 20 crimes. He had been out of prison after having served a 10-year sentence for killing his own son in 2001.
‘THIS CRIME SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED’
Deon Carelse, a friend of the family, speaking to eNCA on Monday morning, has said the family is not coping at the moment because of the long delays in the court proceedings. “This is dragging on for too long now, and the government has failed the family. All three spheres of the judiciary have failed this family. He (Pangkaeker) has been a criminal since the 1980s. He should not have been released. This crime should not have happened, because he was supposed to be in prison.
“This family needs closure. I hope that the government is learning from this mistake they made, by releasing this monster, basically, because he is a monster. He even killed his own kid, he is a monster,” Carelse said.