Murder accused cut off Tazne van Wyk’s hand to get rid of DNA evidence, State alleges

Tazne van Wyk.

Tazne van Wyk. Jaco Marais

Warning: This story contains graphic details that may upset sensitive readers.

  • Eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk fought for her life and scratched the man who raped and killed her, the State alleges.  
  • Her murderer was then faced with no choice but to cut her left hand off because his DNA would have been under her fingernails. 
  • The man on trial for murdering her says she scratched him by accident when he was reaching out to comfort her while they were being kidnapped. 

The man accused of raping and murdering Cape Town primary school pupil Tazne van Wyk, 8, cut her left hand off because she fought so hard the police would have found his DNA under her fingernails, the State alleged during his trial on Tuesday.

“She fought back against you,” prosecutor Lenro Badenhorst said in the Western Cape High Court.

“She scratched you. She fought you.”

The accused retorted from the dock through an Afrikaans interpreter: “It’s not so.”

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Badenhorst continued: “And you forced yourself on her because of your high sex drive, and you raped her. That is what I am going to argue. That’s why the bones in her hips were all injured because of the insertion of your penis into her vagina.”

Again, he denied it.

Earlier, the accused showed Judge Alan Maher a long red scar on his arm from where he said Tazne had scratched him because she thought he was one of the bad guys who he said kidnapped them twice on the day she disappeared on 7 February 2020.

“You killed her because you knew this little girl isn’t going to keep quiet. And you knew that you had to amputate her hand because you knew that she had scratched you,” submitted Badenhorst.

The accused asked why he would do that to her because he and Tazne got along well.

Tazne van Wyk’s mother, Carmen, lays flowers where the girl’s body was found.
Breyten Cupido/Archive

He has alleged three foreign black men and a woman in a taxi stopped and asked him for directions in Ravensmead, Cape Town, while he was on his way to the mosque.

He claimed Tazne appeared next to him, and got in when they offered money for directions, and he felt obliged to follow.

At no point did he contact her parents who lived across the road from him, or even his landlord who lived diagonally across the way from Tazne’s house, to say she was safe and in a taxi with him and they should not worry.

He claimed he did not know her at all.

READ | Cape Town girl Tazné van Wyk was taken to drug deal shortly before she was murdered, court hears

He also claimed they were taken all the way to Worcester and was booted out of the taxi on the N1. While trying to get back to Cape Town, the “four foreigners” returned in a bakkie and kidnapped them again.

Only this time they wore black clothes and the woman with them had something white smeared on her face.

He said they must have murdered Tazne because they took her into bushes next to a river and he never saw her again.

However last week, he said he was kept in the bakkie until after they had dumped Tazne in a water pipe next to the N1. He was finally kicked out of the bakkie on the outskirts of Bloemfontein near a roadblock.

Tazne van Wyk.

Tazne van Wyk.
Supplied Supplied

It has been almost two years and six months since the little girl was murdered, and the accused has still not reported to the police he was kidnapped, nor that he was robbed when the unidentified foreigners stole his duvet.

In the immediate aftermath of her alleged murder by the strangers, he also did not contact the police, or tell any relatives about his ordeal.

Instead, he headed for Port Elizabeth for a job.

He pleaded not guilty to 20 charges.

READ | ‘They wanted to be in the limelight’, says man accused of raping his relatives

Besides the charge of raping, murdering and chopping Tazne’s hand off, he also faces charges of incest, the rape of minors, and severe assault of his stepchildren.

He also faces a charge of absconding from parole so he could take his daughter to Johannesburg to hide her growing stomach from when he impregnated her.

He said the children were all lying about him to get on TV, and his daughter forced herself on him repeatedly.

The trial continues on Wednesday.