- The Western Cape High Court heard sensitive testimony from a man who has denied raping and impregnating his daughter, saying she forced herself on him.
- He said he knew it was wrong, but claimed his daughter was very difficult and would get whatever she wanted.
- This emerged after he was arrested for the rape and gruesome murder of Elsie’s River school girl Tazne van Wyk.
Warning: This article has graphic content
The man accused of murdering and raping little Tazne van Wyk skipped parole to take his daughter to Johannesburg because her pregnancy by him was going to show, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.
He cannot be named because of the sexual assault and rape allegations revealed by relatives and some neighbours he lived near while he drifted around South Africa.
He is also accused of chopping off Tazne’s hand.
After he was arrested in connection with Tazne’s murder in February 2020, the family’s tragic secrets have come pouring out.
One of his ex-wives, for example, testified in exchange for immunity over some of the alleged rapes and sexual assaults because she did not report them to police.
In a morning of sensitive testimony, the court questioned him on the charge of raping his daughter over a month.
He claimed his daughter had initiated “sex” with him.
Asked by prosecutor Lenro Badenhorst how it first happened, he said they had been at a nightclub, and were walking home, and his daughter was a little tipsy.
She suddenly turned to him and said: “Ek is reg”(I am ready).
He said he was a bit confused by what she said, but she pulled him into the bushes. He said that because she was wearing heels and towered over him, she was stronger than him. His leg was also sore, so he couldn’t fight her off.
He wondered what was going on, but eventually clicked.
“And when you put one and one together, what did you get?” asked Badenhorst.
“Two,” he answered.
He said she threw her jacket on the ground in the bushes, then threw herself on top of him.
“I just lay there,” he said.
“I could not do anything because if I pushed her away, she might land in glass. If I screamed, who would hear? Maybe there are rocks lying there that could hurt her head.”
He said she also “French kissed” him, and when asked why he did not pull away, he replied: “She was kissing my face; what else was I to do?”
Badenhorst found this difficult to believe given the accused’s testimony on Wednesday that he led a healthy lifestyle, pushed weights and was a bouncer at a Ladismith club.
He claimed that she also undressed him, including his pants.
“She pulled it down herself,” he said.
“Was there intercourse there?” asked Badenhorst.
“Definitely,” he replied.
He said they had “sex” for a month, and her mother found out she was pregnant when she saw her naked on a bed.
The State alleges that he absconded parole because he had impregnated her, and needed to get out of town before she started showing.
But he claimed this was his daughter’s plan, and because she was so demanding he fell in line with her.
“She was very pretty, and beautiful on the eye, but she has demons in her,” he told the court.
He hastily sold his shack for R3 000 to move to Johannesburg, and they travelled as “husband and wife”.
He travelled to take up a job offer from somebody called Gavin, whose number or address he did not have, but later conceded that they had left because of her pregnancy and claimed that the move was the daughter’s idea.
In Johannesburg, he worked at a butchery.
He was asked whether he thought it normal to impregnate a relative, and he answered, “No.”
Asked whether he was actually the victim of rape, and not the grown relative, he first said that one could say that, but then changed his answer to say no.
He insisted that she was very difficult, and always got her own way.
During cross-examination he was asked if he had a high sex drive, because his daughter said he raped her twice a day. He disagreed and said she only wanted “sex” every second day.
He said when the baby was born, and they moved away from Johannesburg, she told people that the father of her child had died, and she went back to treating him as just a relative, not a husband.
People in the court could not take their eyes off him as each revelation was made.
The accused has consistently shifted the blame for what he is charged with to the parties accusing him of the crimes or, in the case of little Tazne van Wyk, to four murderous foreign nationals.
“He is lying” or “She is lying” is a common defence, as the prosecutor moves down the charge sheet.
Badenhorst said that one of the women he is alleged to have indecently assaulted was so traumatised that she dropped out of school.
He insisted he did not touch her. However, he tripped up on some of the specifics, such as the alleged assault of another relative after a “parole party”. In that case his alibi was prison, but the prosecutor reminded him that he was already on parole by then.
On 7 February 2019, Tazne disappeared near a spaza shop across the road from her house. He lived next door and was on the run from his parole officer.
He had served time for beating one of his children to death.
He claimed that he and Tazne chatted briefly at the tuck shop and a bit later she appeared next to him while he was on his way to the mosque.
He claimed four foreigners they were helping with directions kept them in a taxi to Worcester, leaving them stranded. When they tried to hitchhike back to Cape Town, the four returned in a Toyota bakkie, forced them in the back, and later murdered Tazne in bushes. He claimed that he tried to fight them off as they took Tazne away, but they had tied him up. He said they kicked him out of the bakkie outside Bloemfontein.
He was arrested 10 days later, which is when family secrets of alleged rape of relatives poured out.
He gave many reasons for not reporting Tazne’s murder, from running out of data, to his phone battery being flat, to being high from smoke they blew in his face while he was held captive.
He pleaded not guilty to all 20 charges he faces, which include murder, rape, desecration of a corpse, indecent assault, and incest.
The court then moved to the charges of assaulting child relatives, who he allegedly beat severely and frequently. His defence to one of the charges was that the child was smoking dagga.
“And I hate dagga,” he said.
The case has been so sensitive that a lot of testimony was held in camera.
During a short adjournment, one of the people in the public gallery muttered: “I am going to murder him before the end of this day. He better have good security.”