The mother of slain Stacha Arendse says she will finally be able to pick up the pieces, after her daughter’s murderer was sentenced on Monday. Rando Tango, the man who pleaded guilty to sexual assaulting and murdering 11-year-old from Tafelsig in Mitchells Plain was handed three life sentences in the Western Cape High Court. The child’s body was found in March 2017 on an open field in Mitchells Plains. Her killer admitted to raping Arendse twice in his home and then murdering her, as he was afraid she would inform her mother.
In an emotional interview on VOC this week, Stache’s mother Sandy Markgraff said Tango got what he deserved.
“While busting out in tears all I could say was thank you God, he deserved it. He took Stacha’s innocent life away so he must spend his entire life in jail. He will never again be able to hurt anther girl again.”
Markgraaf thanked the judge and detective for their hard work with the case.
“’Yes today’s sentence won’t bring her back, but justice was served today.”
She said the past year had been a traumatic and stressful one for the whole family, as they grieved for Stacha, whilst also facing his murderer in the trial.
“We have family days on Sundays and we are always thinking what she would have done or said. She always said that if anyone must hurt her five-year old brother, ‘they must kill me first’. We must be strong for him, Stacha would have wanted that,” she added.
Tango, who lived just a few houses away from the family, had known them for years. Markgraaf said she had never detected anything untoward about him.
“We grew up together and we when to the same school. I greeted him the Monday morning of her disappearance when I when to enrol her at high school. Never did I imagine he would have done what he did to my daughter. I used to give him and his family food. There was no alarming signal from him at all,” she recalled.
Markgraaf said she has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of community support since Stacha’s death. On the day of her disappearance, hundreds of community members launched a search for her, and days later, children from 10 educare centres marched through the streets calling for justice for Stacha. The community’s anger reached boiling point when they confronted the accused at his home.
“Words cannot express my gratitude to the community especially the Mitchells Plain Crisis Forum. Until today people we don’t know has been very supportive.”
Asked how she would remember Stacha, she said: “She was a brave, fearless girl. She knew he was going to kill her and during her final moments, she told him he might get away with it but God would know,” she said, fighting back tears.
“She was our rock; she wouldn’t want me to cry about it. She would want me to go on with my life.” VOC