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Elsies River bids farewell to slain Van Wyk, call for firm action from govt

The little girl was last seen going to a tuck shop situated near her family home but days later, her body was found in a stormwater drain near Worcester.

FILE: Tazne van Wyk. Picture: @SAPoliceService.

CAPE TOWN - The funeral service of a murdered child has brought about the same emotions in an Elsies River community who lost another young girl less than three years ago.

Eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk was buried on Saturday.

The little girl was last seen going to a tuck shop situated near her family home but days later, her body was found in a stormwater drain near Worcester.

The man, Mohydien Pangaker, who has been arrested and charged for her murder is a neighbour who's out on parole for various crimes.

The Elsies River community bid farewell to three-year-old Courtney Pieters in May 2017. Her body was found several days after she was reported missing.

The community has come out in their numbers to support the family of Van Wyk as they bid a tearful goodbye to the little girl.

Several government officials attended the funeral.

Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo was one of the keynote speakers. She told the crowd that she was speaking as a mother with a broken heart

“We are bleeding inside. We are angry inside. Because our children they can't play.”

Zelda Trantraal from the Ravensmead Community Safety Forum was instrumental in the search for the child.
She said while the funeral was a sad day, it was closure for the family.

" Tazne's death should teach us something. At least I think it was a big move from government for acknowledging that they made a mistake by releasing this perpetrator on parole.”

MORE INTERVENTION NEEDED TO PREVENT MORE MURDERS

Van Wyk's tiny white and bronze coffin stood in front of the church between four white pillars on which white and purple bouquets of flowers were placed.

Scores of Eslies River residents who couldn't gain entry to the church because it was too full, sat silently outside the church building, watching the funeral service on four TV screens.

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato and Police Minister Bheki Cele were some of the guest speakers.

They've conveyed their condolences to the little girl's family and voiced their dissatisfaction that the alleged perpetrator was a parolee.

Plato said there was a need for discussions to be had to prevent another child from being murdered.

The issue is not anymore, the woman and the skirt that she is wearing, the dress. What she looked like how she walks. The issue must shift to men in society and currently, there is no such issue on government calendar".

He has reiterated communities and government need to work together to do this.