President Cyril Ramaphosa says he will be engaging with police management about complaints that officers did not respond effectively in the 8-year-old Tazne Van Wyk murder case.

Van Wyk’s body was found in a stormwater drain in Worcester last week.

The President met with the family and parents of the little girl, saying the suspect should not be granted bail and must receive a lengthy prison sentence.

Ramaphosa also says Moyhdine Pangarker should have never been released on parole. The suspect was released on parole in 2016. The man absconded from parole a year before Van Wyk went missing near her home in Elsies River, Cape Town.

Addressing the crowds outside the home at Ravensmead in Cape Town, he says, “We will be taking up this issue with the command of the police because Tazne’s parents would like to have a sense that yes indeed they were well served by the government, by all the agencies of the government and we will make sure that we do indeed give them that satisfaction.”

VIDEO: President Cyril Ramphosa addresses crowds outside Van Wyk’s family home

President Ramaphosa also says sorry to the family. “I stand here to say we are very sorry as the government that a person who was never supposed to be released on parole was released. We are sorry about that.”

Community members have expressed mixed reactions after President Ramaphosa’s visit in the area. Resident Sharon Abrahams says his visit was a bit short.

“There wasn’t enough time for the community to raise some points. The speech was so quick I would like the prisoners who did these bad things to our children to suffer in jail.”

Review of parole process

There has been national outrage over the Tazne murder and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has initiated a review of the parole process. He says part of the review will look into professionalising the parole process.

“We sympathise with the outrage from the community and it is worrying us because it affects the system of rehabilitation. It does show from our system that there are some systematic weaknesses, particularly, in the province of the Western Cape. Throughout the country, there is some stability in terms of the system and we are in the process of review. But if you can look into the whole system there is a huge number also that is contributing positively to society. the lapse in the system is that we need to professionalise the board processes in terms of the people who help us to make the decisions.”

Family member Samantha Viljoen says her murder could’ve been prevented.

‘Heartfelt condolences’

The Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, has expressed shock and sadness following the discovery of the body.

Fritz’s spokesperson, Cayla Ann Murray elaborates: “Minister Friz said: ‘I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Tazne van Wyk. They have endured a tumultuous period of uncertainty, confusion, and pain. No parent should have to endure the loss of their child. A social worker will be deployed o debrief the family following the news of Tazne’s death.’”

Murder cases in Elsies River

The rate of According to the 2019 crime stats, Elsies River had 90 murders.  Four people were shot and killed in Clarkes Estate in Elsies River on the Cape Flats the same year.

In 2018, the killer of three-year-old Courtney Pieters was given two life sentences in the High Court in Cape Town.

Mortimer Saunders was convicted on rape and murder charges a few weeks ago.

Courtney’s body was found in Epping Industria in May 2017 after she had been reported missing from her Elsies River home.