Tazne van Wyk murder trial: How the accused’s story has shifted

Tazne van Wyk murder trial: How the accused's story has shifted
Tazne van Wyk murder trial: How the accused's story has shifted

Africa-Press – South-Africa. One of the Western Cape High Court’s most shocking cases was on the brink of being wrapped up this week when the accused decided to call two more witnesses to corroborate his claims that he did not murder eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk.

He also vehemently denied the multiple charges of rape, sexual assault and the severe assault of his stepchildren.

He denied the charge of raping his daughter, even though she became pregnant with his child, who he also allegedly raped.

The past 10 days in court have been grim as Judge Alan Maher heard testimony from the man in his late 50s.

The man was accused by the prosecution of being a self-serving narcissist and liar, who was only interested in sex and money.

He cannot be named because of his familial ties with many of the victims.

However, the court heard that he also allegedly sexually assaulted minors in the homes of friends and family he visited.

Living a peripatetic life, he moved between the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and the Western Cape, seemingly preferring to get lost in Johannesburg’s Ferreira’s Town, as a butcher, or in small Western Cape Towns, where he worked on dump sites, night clubs and in factories.

Murder accused cut off Tazne van Wyk’s hand to get rid of DNA evidence, State alleges

Based on pictures presented to the court, he was a strapping man in his youth – and the prosecutor alleged that he used his strength and size to overpower victims. He also allegedly offered money to children in exchange for sex.

He insisted that people were lying about him, and accused the minors of seeking attention and wanting to be on TV.

He was finally arrested on 17 February in a sting operation involving his ex-wife.

She called him to say she had left her husband and had stolen R8 000. The woman, who had kept terrible secrets for years, lured him into a police trap with promises of money and a good time.

This week, his account of what happened to Tazne shifted.

Tazne disappeared from her home in Elsies River on 7 February 2020. Her body was found almost 10 days later in a water pipe on the N1, outside Worcester.

When he initially relayed his story about Tazne, he said she appeared out of nowhere next to him as four foreigners in a taxi asked him for directions.

This week, he said Tazne was with other children and took shelter behind him from vicious dogs.

Last week, he said Tazne scratched his hand while they tried to cling to each other as the four foreigners wrenched her away from him, and subsequently murdered her.

This week, he said Tazne thought one of the bad guys in the taxi was trying to reach out to her, so she scratched him (the accused) defensively, by accident.

This is important because Tazne’s left hand was cut off. It has never been found.

Forensic investigators found the accused’s DNA under Tazne’s remaining fingernails.

The State also questioned how he could have reached out to help her, if his hands were tied behind his back and he was lying on his stomach.

Last week, he said the four foreigners drove to Worcester and then dropped them off on the N1. He was worried that something was off. The same people returned, forced them into a bakkie, and later murdered Tazne. He saw Tazne’s body being carried back to the bakkie.

This week, he remembered that, when the four returned in a bakkie, they were all dressed in black, and the woman had a white substance rubbed over her face. He said they took Tazne to a river, and he never saw her again. He said they did not bring her back to the bakkie, and he did not see them leave her body in the water pipe.

He never reported the two “kidnappings” to the police, and did not report that Tazne had either been taken or that they had murdered her. Instead, he travelled to Gqeberha to find work.

The case is being treated as a priority by the province’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Nicolette Bell.

At a media briefing on Friday, Bell said the sexual offences DNA project had a positive impact on finalising these focus-point cases.

The murder and rape trial resumes on Monday.

The accused has pleaded not guilty to 20 charges, which includes absconding from parole.

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