President Cyril Ramaphosa apologised to the residents of Connaught Estate in Cape Town on Tuesday for alleged child killer Moyhdian Pangarker being released on parole.
“He came out and committed murder. That just shows there is something wrong with our parole system,” Ramaphosa said outside the home of murdered Tazne van Wyk, 8.
“The parole board should have realised this was not a candidate for release. I stand here and say we are sorry as the government that this person, who was never supposed to be released on parole, was released.”
Dozens of locals, who crowded Clare Street, chanted “death penalty” when Ramaphosa called for an end to gender-based violence.
Ramaphosa said he understood the pain people were feeling but the right to life was protected by the Constitution.
“But we are also saying that people found guilty of abusing women and children, raping and killing them, must not be released on bail. They must stay in jail and never ever come out.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Ramaphosa visited Tazne’s parents to sympathise.
“I would like to thank Carmen and Terence for the moments they spent with us, explaining the pain that they are feeling, but also expressing that they want us to make sure that this never happens to any child again – where a person who was released on parole participates in a murder like this.”
Pangarker, the Van Wyk family’s neighbour, has been charged with Tazne’s murder and appeared in the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
He was cornered in Cradock last week after being on the run for almost two weeks after being identified as a person of interest in her kidnapping.
After being transported back to Cape Town from the Eastern Cape town, Pangarker led the police to a stormwater drain outside Worcester where her decomposing body was found.
Tazne was last seen on February 7 walking to a tuckshop across the street from her home.
Pangarker, whose criminal record dates to the 1980s, had absconded from parole a year ago.
Ramaphosa said the accused should not even have been released on bail. “He must never see the light of day again.”
The president added he was aware of complaints that the police had not responded to Tazne’s disappearance as quickly as they were supposed to, committing to take up the matter with the police commander.
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, who had been part of the convoy, confirmed that the parole system was being relooked after Tazne’s murder.
“We are going to make sure that it is revamped. We will look at this closely so that we will never have a situation like this happen again.”