Cape Town – A man, who admitted to strangling 11-year-old Stacha Arends after she threatened to tell her mother that he had “sexual intercourse” with her, is to hear his fate on Thursday when the Western Cape High Court delivers judgment.
Stacha disappeared in Mitchells Plain on the afternoon of March 27, and her body was found in the early hours of March 28 at a sports field in the area.
Randy Tango, who lived two doors away from Stacha in Matroosberg Street, said in a plea agreement with the State this week that he had vaginal and anal “sexual intercourse” with the child.
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He had seen her walking past his house and sent a boy to call her to him.
Tango said that Stacha followed him into the house and, when he locked the door, she became scared and said she would do anything, as long as he did not hurt her.
He said he had “sexual intercourse” with her, knowing “she was under the age of legal consent”.
When she asked him to stop and threatened to tell her mother, he said he was not going to jail “for this”.
He strangled her and threw her body in a dustbin.
Tango pushed the dustbin down the road while her frantic parents and neighbours were looking for her, and dumped her body on the sports field. The sheet he had wrapped her body in, bin and her clothes, were dumped nearby.
Tango was arrested on March 28 and, when police did a background check on him, they found that he had been arrested twice before on accusations of rape, in cases that date back to 2008 and 2012 respectively.
This left questions over whether Stacha’s death could have been avoided.
In the 2008 allegation of rape, a 14-year-old girl had a child as a result of what Tango, who is now in his early thirties, claimed was consensual sex.
The alleged victim lived with Tango for three years after that. Tango said in his plea agreement that she withdrew the case against him after consultation with her mother. The child is 8-years-old now. He denies that he raped the child’s mother.
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Prosecutor Maresa Engelbrecht said that the teen sometimes gave consent and sometimes not, and regarded her whole situation as “normal”.
In the other case, a teenager had gone off with Tango to smoke dagga. He claimed they had consensual sex and that he did not rape her as alleged.
Tango’s defence lawyer, Koos Smit, accused the State of dredging up old allegations just to make their case against Tango stronger.
Judge Robert Henney posed extensive questions to investigating officer Leslie Dahlmini over why those cases fizzled out and were withdrawn.
Henney said that the complainants had testified that they were waiting to be contacted to go to court.
Dahlmini told him that he battled to track them down and get them to court as witnesses, in spite of leaving several messages and going to their homes.
In one of his attempts, he was told the complainant had gone on holiday with Tango.
Eventually, the prosecuting authority decided to withdraw the cases against him.
Henney reserved judgment until Thursday.