Scenes of jubilation and relief played out on the doorstep of the Western Cape High Court when Judge Robert Henney handed down three life sentences to Randy Tango for the rape and murder of 11-year-old Stacha Arendse.The 32-year-old man was also sentenced for another case of statutory rape he had pleaded guilty on.
There were emotional responses as Judge Henney read out the sentence to the packed courtroom.
Stacha’s mother, Sandy Markgraffm burst into tears.
Tango, with his head bowed while Judge Henney read out his fate, was immediately taken back to Pollsmoor prison where he will serve his sentences.
Tango pleaded guilty to the crimes he committed against Stacha after entering a plea agreement.
Tango confessed to strangling Stacha and throwing her body in a dustbin before wheeling her to a sports field where he dumped her body.
In his plea agreement, Tango said that he had vaginal and anal “sexual intercourse” with the child at his house.
Tango, who lived four homes away from the the child’s family and who was on parole for car theft when he raped and killed her, said he killed Stacha “because he did not want to go to jail for it”.
Markgraff couldn’t hold back the tears knowing that Tango, who helped searched for her daughter’s body would pay for his crimes.
“It is a big relief knowing that he won’t be able to come out and serve his life on the outside and knowing he can’t hurt another little girl. Now our healing can finally begin,” she said.
Markgraff said she missed her daughter and that Tango had ripped Stacha from their family and took all her dreams when he killed her.
“It won’t bring her back but justice was served today for my little angel,” she said.
Stacha’s grandmother Dawn Godfrey said: “She was my first grandchild, it hurts. I love her very much. I am happy God answered our prayers.”
Tango, a father of two, was also handed a further 10 years imprisonment for the rape of a minor who was under age of legal consent at the time.
The child was 14 years old at the time of the incident and has since given birth to Tango’s child.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said: “A child was born the following year after the rape.
“That child is eight years old today.
‘‘The accused says he and the rape victim had a three-year relationship after the rape and lived together.
“The court agreed and sentenced him to 10 years on the rape charge that occurred in 2008 and three life terms for two rapes on Stacha Arendse and her murder.”
Mitchells Plain Impact Association chairperson Joanie Fredericks said: “The courts proved today that if the investigation teams and the police get work done properly and with integrity that justice can and will be served.”