South Africa’s parole system, especially when it comes to the release of perpetrators of violent crimes and sexual offences, is in the spotlight.

This after the body of Tazne van Wyk 8, from Elsie’s River in Cape Town was found in a storm water pipe outside Worcester in the Boland, two weeks after she went missing, and a 54-year-old man was arrested in connection with her death.

The 54-year-old suspect, who is known in the community, was arrested in Cradock, Eastern Cape on Monday and brought to Cape Town where he led detectives to Tazne van Wyk’s body.

Van Wyk’s aunt, Samantha Viljoen, slammed government saying their child would still be alive if the alleged perpetrator had not been paroled.

Viljoen says, “Mr President, how could you allow such people to come out? How many children must still die? How many Mr President, we ask you… I really hope all of you that had a hand in this do not sleep. You must see the tears of the parents and family.”

Family of Tazne van Wyk speaks out

Commission of Inquiry into child killings?

Commissioner for the Human Rights Commission, Chris Nissen has reiterated calls for the establishment of a commission of inquiry into child killings.

Nissen says, “I think government must take those recommendations from the trauma centre very seriously and those recommendations talk about those issues, and if government had listened to those recommendations, we could have perhaps prevented this kind of thing.”

Last month, Michaela Williams 12, from Pelican Park near Muizenberg was also murdered, allegedly by a 48-year-old suspect who had been out on parole after a rape conviction.

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato visited Van Wyk’s family and says men need to do some self-examination.

Plato says, “It is the men assaulting the women, it’s the men raping the women, it’s the men brutally killing the women. I do not believe there is enough focus on the men in society.”

The 54-year-old suspect in the Van Wyk case is expected to appear in the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on Friday on a charge of murder.

Police have not ruled out adding more charges as the investigation continues.

Body of Tazne van Wyk found outside Worcester, Cape Town

PAROLE

According to the Department of Correctional services Parole refers to a portion of the sentence of imprisonment which is served in the community under the control and supervision of correctional officials subject to conditions which have been set by the commissioner of correctional services.

Offenders are placed under parole attached to specific conditions such as:

  • Staying under the supervision and control of the Department of Correctional Services.
  • Offenders are restricted from changing place of residence/employer without prior approval of Head of Community Corrections.
  • Offenders may not commit any offence whilst under parole supervision.
  • Offenders must report at the Community Corrections Office at set intervals.
  • Offenders are put under certain programmes if this is deemed necessary, amongst other conditions.

If an offender is released or placed on parole and violates the terms they can or will be re-arrested and placed in a correctional facility, subject to the recommendations of a court or commissioner correctional services.