Alleged child killer Randy Tango was “obsessed” with 11-year-old Stacha Arends, a source close to the investigation has revealed.
Tango, 31, appeared in the Western Cape High Court on Friday, where he tried to hide his face from media photographers and made rude hand gestures to journalists.
He was in court for pre-trial proceedings and is expected to enter into a plea explanation with the State later this week.
Dressed in a grey hooded top and with his head clean-shaven, Tango ducked and dived between the court benches, trying to avoid the media.
He later covered his head with his hoodie.
Tango is accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering his young neighbour, Stacha, of Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain.
It is unclear whether his plea explanation - which is still being formulated - will include his alleged “sick obsession” with the beautiful little girl.
According to the source, Tango “often watched Stacha, and had secretly been preying on her without her family’s knowledge”.
Judge Robert Henney asked Tango to stand in the dock, and informed the court the accused still needed further consultation with his lawyer.
The matter was postponed to Friday 17 November.
On 3 November, Tango shocked people when he informed the court that he wished to enter a plea explanation.
Outside court on Friday, Stacha’s uncle Henry Arends said they were satisfied with proceedings so far, and firmly believed that Tango will get his justice.
“We are not getting despondent in any way, we are patient,” he said.
“We will take our time in solving this case, we are patient. Justice will be served at the end of the day.”
Stacha’s emotional mother, Sandy Markgraff, was supported at court by members of the Mitchells Plain Crisis Forum, who protested outside and sang hymns.
Tango was released on parole October last year, after serving time for car theft.
His mother previously revealed he had formerly been accused of statutory rape of a 16-year-old girl, but that the case was withdrawn.
Stacha disappeared on 27 March while watching movies at a friend’s home in Matroosberg Street, Tafelsig.
The next day, the child’s naked and battered body was found dumped on a soccer field at Swartklip Road, Tafelsig.