‘I didn’t know her’: Man on trial for killing Tazné van Wyk says he had never even seen her before

'I didn't know her': Man on trial for killing Tazné van Wyk says he had never even seen her before
'I didn't know her': Man on trial for killing Tazné van Wyk says he had never even seen her before

Africa-Press – South-Africa. The absconded parolee accused of murdering eight-year-old Tazné van Wyk denies ever knowing or seeing her.

However, he told the Western Cape High Court that he did drink beer in the yard of her parents’ home on the day she disappeared.

He has vehemently denied more than 20 charges of rape, sexual assault and kidnapping.

He looked thin in his buttoned-up worn-out leather jacket, creased chinos, faded black fez and narrow spectacles, compared with the wanted photo of the tall, well-built man in a T-shirt put out by the police during the hunt for Van Wyk.

He swayed and was barely audible when asked to confirm basic details about himself. This prompted his lawyer to remind the court that fellow inmates had severely beaten him up on his way to the trial from Pollsmoor Prison a few weeks ago.

Through repetition and patience, the court heard that he is 54 and that his highest level of schooling is Grade 8. He was married twice and had six to eight children with his wives and other women. He can’t remember the names of all his children.

He said he had worked as a builder, tiler and steps maker, and a security guard for a municipality.

When asked about the young victim, his demeanour changed, and he became animated and forthright.

“I didn’t know her,” he testified.

Head split with ‘severe force’: Court hears horrific details of little Tazne van Wyk’s final moments

The accused cannot be identified because of alleged assaults on his own relatives, which he also denied.

After a search by volunteers and police for van Wyk, her body was found in a storm drain next to the N1 highway near Worcester.

Her left hand had been hacked off and maggots covered her pubic area.

‘How could I do that if I had no money’

His arrest, via a trap set for him in Cradock by one of his ex-wives, took the lid off more than 20 horrific crimes, not just against van Wyk, but against members of his family.

The man confirmed that he had lodged in a house adjacent to Van Wyk’s, next to a spaza shop, for two weeks. But, in spite of the proximity, and her visiting a woman in that house frequently, he insisted he did not know the girl at all.

He also denied being seen at the spaza shop across the road from where she lived on the day she disappeared, saying impatiently, “Finish up, finish up!”, while she bought something.

Initial reports on her disappearance indicate that she was last seen walking to the spaza shop, which is just a few paces from her front gate.

However, the court heard that he was indeed, at the very least, on the property where her parents rented, because he had been invited to join a group of people drinking beer.

He said they sat in the yard, but denied seeing the little girl, although he does remember the Wendy house she lived in near the gate.

He said her father Terence Manuel was also with the group drinking beer.

The accused also denied sexually assaulting another relative who he gave a lift home to after the parole party of a family member released from prison.

He had allegedly also offered the relative money to have sex with him.

“How could I do that if I had no money,” he asked loudly.

The trial continues.

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