South Africa

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Goodwood magistrate’s court overrun as man accused of murdering Tazne van Wyk appears

Goodwood magistrate’s court overrun as man accused of murdering Tazne van Wyk appears
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – FEBRUARY 21: Angry community members protest out the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on February 21, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. The protest occurred just before the late 8-year old Tazne van Wyk alleged killer 54-year-old Moehydien Pangaker appeared in court. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

Angry protesters swarmed into the Goodwood magistrate’s court on Friday to vent their pain and frustration at the justice system. The accused was a wanted fugitive and convicted murderer who absconded while out on parole.

Tensions ran high in the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court in Cape Town on Friday 21 February when Moyhdian Pangarker, 54, appeared in connection with the murder of eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk.

Hundreds of protesters filled the corridors of the courthouse wanting access to the courtroom where the accused was due to appear.

Angry community members protest out the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on February 21, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. The protest occurred just before the late 8-year old Tazne van Wyk alleged killer 54-year-old Moehydien Pangaker appeared in court. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said Voortrekker Road was closed in both directions in front of the courthouse to accommodate the scores of people who arrived in protest at the murder of Tazne. 

Chanting “We want justice!” and “Let us in!” while banging on the wooden doors of Courtroom C, protesters demanded to be allowed access. 

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – FEBRUARY 21: Angry community members protest inside the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on February 21, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. The protest occurred just before the late 8-year old Tazne van Wyk alleged killer 54-year-old Moehydien Pangaker appeared in court. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

After being let in, many held up signs expressing their anger towards the justice system and the rate of murder in South Africa. 

One sign read “Tazne: sorry our government could not protect you.”

Tazne’s body was found in Worcester earlier this week after she disappeared while going to a tuck shop near her home in Elsies River two weeks ago. 

Her body was found late last Wednesday night in a stormwater pipe outside Worcester. 

Inside Goodwood magistrates court C where the man accused of murdering Tazne van Wyk appeared this morning. pic Shani Reddy.

Pangarker was arrested on Monday evening, in a sting operation, when he arrived at a hotel in Cradock to meet a woman. 

Pangarker led police to Tazne’s body two days later. 

On Friday morning, Pangarker was brought into the courtroom with his shirt covering his head. 

When his face was uncovered, he appeared indifferent to the protesters in the room as he stood facing the court. 

While the accused seemed emotionless and unaffected by the charges brought against him, the face of Terence Manuel, Tazne’s father, was etched with anger and sorrow. The court was so full that not even he could get a seat. Tazne’s mother had to be sedated and was taken to hospital on Thursday after she was given the news of her daughter’s murder. She was not in court on Friday. 

A photo of eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk at her parents’ house in Elsies River, Cape Town. Her body was found in a stormwater pipe outside Worcester. (Photo: Shani Reddy)

Pangarker, who faces charges of kidnapping and murder, reported injuries to his ribs, with his attorney saying he struggles to stand and sit. He is also alleged to have bruises on his right and left arm, his neck, as well as injuries to his left leg. The attorney says his client claims that these injuries were meted out to him by the police and that his client has not been attended to by a doctor.

Magistrate Bukiwe Sambudla said the accused will be in custody until his next court appearance on 17 April 2020. He did not apply for bail during Friday’s appearance.

Once the hearing was concluded, people started yelling at Pangarker, calling him an animal and a murderer. As he was being led out of the court, some people threw objects at the accused, and one person who had managed to bring a metal pole into the courtroom attempted to hit Pangarker with it.

Outside, the crowd was still seething. Emotions were high but they dispersed after they saw Tazne’s father leave. Manuel left the court by another exit after the media tried to get a comment from him.

“I can’t handle this,” was all he said as he left. DM

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