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Yet another little coffin was lowered into the ground: eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk was murdered, allegedly by a man out on parole.
Moyhdian Pangarker, Van Wyk’s accused killer, has a long, disturbing criminal wrap sheet. The 54-year-old has been in and out of prison for various crimes.
Prosecutors told the court that Pangarker has 11 previous convictions that date back to 1981 and include culpable homicide and murder. Yet, somehow, he managed to be released from prison as a man on the mend.
Our justice system must be addressed. Heads must hung in shame that unpoliced criminals, unguarded parolees roam free.
Even President Cyril Ramaphosa apologised: “He came out and committed murder. That just shows there is something wrong with our parole system,” Ramaphosa said outside the home of the murdered Van Wyk.
But every member of society stands accused… The first mistake we collectively made was we were willing to accept that “the male child has too many problems because they lack a male role model”.
Well, don’t accept the unacceptable. Stop excusing the inexcusable.
Once we do that, we can remedy a situation that gains traction from our silence – because, ultimately, the girl child is the collateral damage of the broken man that society is producing on a large scale.
I’m sure Van Wyk’s alleged killer ate on time, woke up on time, said thank you and please to the corrections officers, attended church services and did the odd work around the prisons.
He must have carried his weight for someone to decide he was fit to be reintegrated into society.
The measurement tools of our justice system require an overhaul.
If the judges, parole officers and social workers do not call into question their decisions; if this does not make them wonder about granting a get-out-of-jail card, then nothing will ever.
This leaves one cold with fear: how many other paroled convicts are out there – ready to pounce?
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