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Little Tazne’s body found in Worcester

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In a shocking turn of events, the body of a child, presumably that of the missing 8-year-old Tazne van Wyk, was found in a storm pipe outside Worcester on Wednesday night. Western Cape police confirmed that the suspect Moehydien Pangaker, 54, disclosed the body of the child to police. Pangaker was arrested in Cradock on Monday, where he is believed have been hiding in the town. It’s believed he was the last person to be seen with the little girl, en route to Parow in a taxi ten days ago.

“An extensive investigation into the disappearance of eight year old, Tazne Van Wyk from her Ravensmead home almost two weeks ago has led Western Cape FCS detectives with crime intelligence to Cradock in the Eastern Cape, where they apprehended a suspect and the subsequent discovery of the child’s body late last night,” said Western Cape police in a statement.

Pangaker made a brief appearance in court on Tuesday in Cradock on a charge of kidnapping. The suspect was later transported to Cape Town. He will be charged with murder and is expected to appear in the Goodwood magistrate’s court on Friday. As the investigation unfolds, the possibility of the suspect facing additional charges cannot be ruled out, said police.

Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lt General Yolisa Matakata has hailed the diligence of the detective team involved as well as the search parties. She acknowledged that while the arrest would not bring back Tazne, the arrest of the suspect would send a stern warning to would-be perpetrators.

“In a province that is notorious for crimes against women and children, we reiterate our resolve to ensure the perpetrators of these heinous acts are brought to book in order to face the full might of the law,” says Lt General Matakata.

Police said the girl’s parents Terence Manuel and Carmen van Wyk, have been informed of the devastating news and are receiving trauma counselling.

Meanwhile, community organisations in Elsies River have expressed their sadness and devastation at the news.

“The pain we feel is so heavy in our hearts. If we as community members feel this way, I can only imagine the pain and hurt of her parents,” said Steve Ross, chairperson of the Inspire Network, a group closely involved in the search.

As anger mounts within the Elsies River and Ravensmead communities, there are fears of mob justice against the alleged perpetrator. Ross cautioned residents from taking the law into their own hands.

“We are asking the family to stand by the family, stand for the truth and unite together so that this doesn’t happen to any other child again,” he added.

Ross thanked all roleplayers involved in the massive search for Tazne.

“The police, search parties, the media and every community member who put themselves on the line to search all the bushes and expect to find the worst, thank you very much.”


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