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Victim’s DNA speaks beyond the grave: Court finds accused guilty of Tazné van Wyk murder

Moyhdian Pangkaeker has been convicted for the kidnapping, rape and murder of eight-year-old Tazné van Wyk in 2020. The Western Cape high court found Pangkaeker guilty on 21 of 25 remaining charges on Wednesday.

“He knew Tazné was dead, he knew that because he was the killer,” Judge Alan Maher ruled on Wednesday. “The only person who could have killed Tazné was the accused. He lured her away from her home and kidnapped her.”

Maher read out loud the brutal and violent manner in which Tazné was raped and said the only reason the accused kidnapped the eight year old was for “sexual gratification” as seen in his pattern of targeting young girls.

“In this case similarities are striking,” said Maher, noting that the accused’s victims were all young girls and each was sexually assaulted.

“The accused kidnapped, murdered and raped Tazné van Wyk and he desecrated her corpse,” the court found based on circumstantial evidence.

DNA evidence found under Tazné’s nails links Pangkaeker to the crimes “and it is probable that Tazné spoke beyond the grave by bravely fighting for her life”.

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