Safety of women, children remains priority for police

Police Minister Bheki Cele says the safety of women and children remains a priority for the police.

Cele together with the Western Cape Police Commissioner Yolisa Matakata visited the family of eight-year-old, Tazne van Wyk in Ravensmead near Cape Town on Wednesday.

Tazne’s body was found in a stormwater drain in Worcester last week after she had disappeared several days earlier.

Murder accused, Moyhdine Pangarker, who has already appeared in court. He was released on parole in 2016.

Ramaphosa meets Tazne’s parents

President Cyril Ramaphosa says he will be engaging with police management about complaints that officers did not respond effectively to Van Wyk’s murder case.

Ramaphosa met with the family and parents of the little girl this week, saying the suspect should not be granted bail and must receive a lengthy prison sentence.

He says Pangarker should have never been released on parole. The suspect was released on parole in 2016.

The man absconded from parole a year before Van Wyk went missing near her home in Elsies River, Cape Town.

Ramaphosa says, “We will be taking up this issue with the command of the police because Tazne’s parents would like to have a sense that yes indeed they were well served by the government, by all the agencies of the government and we will make sure that we do indeed give them that satisfaction.”

Parole system under review

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola says his department is already instituting a full review of the parole system in the country.

Lamola says part of the review will look into professionalising the parole process.

“We sympathise with the outrage from the community and it is worrying us because it affects the system of rehabilitation. It does show from our system that there are some systematic weaknesses particularly in the province of the Western Cape.”

“Throughout the country, there is some stability in terms of the system and we are in the process of review. But if you can look into the whole system, there is a huge number also that is contributing positively to society. The lapse in the system is that we need to professionalise the board processes in terms of the people who help us to make the decisions,” Lamola adds.

DA wants answers

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will embark on a full review of the entire parole system by submitting parliamentary questions to the minister of justice and correctional services.

The DA’s interim leader, John Steenhuizen says, “We demand answers on the conditions under which perpetrators are granted parole. Our country is confronted by the devastating news that mothers, daughters and sisters have lost their lives due to the gross negligence in the parole system.”

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