Tazne van Wyk murder: Judge slams father for not listening to child who reported sexual assault

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A treasured photo of Tazne van Wyk kept in her great-grandmother's living room.
A treasured photo of Tazne van Wyk kept in her great-grandmother's living room.
PHOTO: Jaco Marais
  • The trial of the man accused of murdering Tazne van Wyk, and of the rape and assault of relatives, is not going in his favour so far. 
  • The judge called the accused's denial of the rape of his adult daughter "quite extraordinary".  
  • The judge also noted that one of his early victims was ignored by her father when she told him that he had touched her breasts.

The judgment in the case of the man on trial for the murder of Tazne van Wyk, as well as multiple rapes of girls in his own family, started with the judge telling the court that one of his victims had simply been ignored when she told her father what had happened to her.

"His attitude to his daughter was clearly that she just had to accept that that is how things were," said Judge Alan Maher as he began the final judgment of the man on Wednesday. 

He said it was not surprising that she did not go to the police to report that the accused had come into her bedroom and touched her breasts while she was sleeping.

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Maher said: "One cannot expect a 13-year-old to approach the police on her own when there is no support for such a step."

The incident happened more than 20 years ago to a woman who was 14 at the time. She lived in the same street from which Tazne disappeared and the accused and her father were friends, and related by marriage. 

Maher said the murder of Tazne had led to a multitude of charges against the accused for crimes that were not reported at the time. 

Maher said: 

The kidnapping of Tazne was essentially the catalyst which got the victims to speak, and which ultimately led to [the child] bringing charges.

Tazne disappeared on 7 February 2020 from her home in Elsies River. Her body was found 10 days later with her left hand cut off.

The accused was arrested on 17 February and went on trial facing 27 charges.

Maher is giving his reasons for his findings on each charge, and will pronounce on whether the accused is guilty or not at the end of the judgment. 

READ | Judge sifts through accused's 'mystery people' defence as he delivers judgment in Tazne murder trial

So far, the judge has indicated that the State was correct in saying that it had not proved beyond a reasonable doubt the sexual grooming charge. 

But he called the accused's denial of the rape of his adult daughter "quite extraordinary". 

He had described himself as the victim, and expected the court to believe that a disabled woman who was drunk could suddenly drag him, a bouncer, into the bush and force him to have sex with her.

Maher said the accused's daughter is of a slight build and she is frail, whereas he was a large and well-built bouncer. He had tried to blame the "demon" in her.

"It seems inconceivable that she would be able to remove his clothes against his will and force herself on him. The court has no hesitation in rejecting his version."

The judge said it was clear that the accused had done it to satisfy his sexual desires.  

Maher added that even if his daughter had reached the point where she was so damaged by him that she did not care about the rape in the veld and the other rapes, it did not detract from what he had done to her. 

"The accused's version is not credible and is rejected as false."

Judgment continues.


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