Our system failed Tazne, says Bheki Cele at young murder victim's funeral

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The criminal justice system failed murdered Tazne van Wyk, Police Minister Bheki Cele said at her funeral in Cape Town on Saturday.

Addressing mourners in Elsies River, Cele said government needed to relook the country's laws.

"Our system failed Tazne van Wyk," he said, metres away from her little white coffin.

"Some laws are too kind to these perpetrators. These women cause no crimes - these men cause trouble, but we focus less and less on them. Maybe the time has come that the concentration and the calls move to men."

READ | Top brass to attend murdered Tazne van Wyk's funeral

Cele, Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo and Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato were among the mourners at Van Wyk's funeral at the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa on Saturday.

Speakers at her final farewell charged that government had failed to keep the 8-year-old safe by releasing her alleged killer on parole.

Murder accused Moyhdian Pangarker was cornered in Cradock last Monday after he went on the run for nearly two weeks following his identification as a person of interest in Van Wyk's kidnapping.

READ | Thousands flock to funeral service of murdered Tazne van Wyk in Cape Town

After being transported back to Cape Town from the Eastern Cape town, Pangarker led the police to a stormwater drain outside Worcester where her body was found.

Van Wyk was last seen on February 7, walking to a tuck shop across the street from her home.

Children are killed 'by our own husbands, brothers and sons'

Pangarker, the Van Wyk family's neighbour, has been charged with Tazne's murder and appeared in the Goodwood Magistrate's Court last Friday.

READ | Tazne murder: Alleged killer’s family getting death threats, one relative doused in petrol - report

His criminal record dates back to the 1980s and he had absconded from parole a year ago.

This week, President Cyril Ramaphosa, after meeting with Tazne's parents, Carmen and Terence, apologised to the residents of Connaught Estate, Elsies River, that the alleged killer was released on parole.

He said it was proof that there was "something wrong with our parole system".

At the funeral, Mbombo said children were being killed "by our own husbands, brothers and sons".

"We are bleeding inside, because these are our own relatives."

Plato said the focus should shift to men.

"The issue is not the women anymore - the skirt she is wearing, the dress, what she looks like or how she walks," he said.

"The issue must shift a little bit to the men in society."

Van Wyk was buried at the Modderdam Cemetery.

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