Steely glares met child murder accused Moehydien Pangaker when he appeared in the Western Cape High Court on Monday where he had been scheduled to go on trial.
But the case against him was postponed for another year as the courts dealt with a backlog of cases.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Western Cape spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the matter was postponed to 16 May 2022 as this was the only date available.
In April, Judge President John Hlophe instructed the postponement of all new criminal cases to be heard in the high court for this term.
At the time, he said this was because of a heavy caseload.
Pangaker faces a string of charges, including the murder of 8-year-old Tazne van Wyk, who was raped, mutilated and murdered in 2020.
The accused has been behind bars since his arrest in February for the 8-year-old’s kidnapping and murder after being arrested in Cradock in the Eastern Cape after going on the run for nearly two weeks after being identified as a person of interest in her disappearance.
He had been transported back to Cape Town from the Eastern Cape and had led police to where Van Wyk’s body was eventually found in a stormwater drain near the N1 outside Worcester.
Raped and mutilated, a blunt object had been used to hit her on the head, neck and pelvis.
Pangaker was the Van Wyks’ neighbour in Connaught Estate, Elsies River.
She had gone missing on 7 February 2020 while walking to a tuck shop across the street from her home.
Pangaker’s criminal record dates back to the 1980s.
He was granted parole after serving half of a 10-year sentence for culpable homicide and kidnapping, but absconded a year before Tazne’s murder.
He faces 20 charges relating to violent crimes against women, with the State’s summary of facts submitting that he migrated between cities, including Johannesburg, East London and Gqeberha, with some of the victims he had already attacked.
According to the prosecution, one of his alleged victims was eventually “subdued” into a relationship with him, and the other, who he had allegedly raped and beaten, left.
He allegedly also stripped naked one of the children and held her captive, threatening to kill her if she told anybody, News24 previously reported.
The cases he will go on trial for in the high court include assault (punching women), repeatedly raping a girl under the age of 16, kidnapping and murder.
Following Tazne’s murder, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, visited her family.
Ramaphosa, after sharing his sympathies with Tazne’s parents, Carmen and Terence, apologised to the residents of Connaught Estate for the alleged killer being released on parole, saying it was proof that there was “something wrong with our parole system”.