VICTIM: Stacha Arends

The man accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering 11-year-old Stacha Arends will know in a few weeks whether his case will be heard at the Western Cape High Court.

Randy Tango, 31, appeared via Audio Visual Remand (AVR) at the Mitchells Plain Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Tango looked healthy and appeared to have gained some weight.

Wearing a fashionable red top, he was full of smiles as he stood inside an office at Pollsmoor Prison.

When Magistrate Walter Golding asked him if he understood the proceedings and whether he was in good health, he smiled broadly and said “yes”.

State prosecutor Darren Johnson informed the court that the investigation was nearly complete and that a decision would be made by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) whether the trial would be heard at the Western Cape High Court or at the Mitchells Plain Regional Court.

“The DPP has one or two queries and some smaller aspects which still need to be reviewed and then a decision will be made whether the matter will be heard here or at the Cape High Court,” Johnson said.

The public gallery then burst into laughter when Tango referred to Magistrate Golding as “Chief” more than once after he was asked whether he understood what had transpired.

The case was postponed to 15 August.

Outside court, Joanie Fredericks, the coordinator of the Mitchells Plain Crisis Forum, said they were not happy with the court delays.

“I saw him now and this man, he looks well looked after, he is dressed in brand new clothing, he is cleanly shaved, en hy lyk lekker rond.

“So he doesn’t have a moment’s worry in there, while we on the outside do not have closure.

“We want this case to be completed so that he can serve time for the crime he committed.”

Stacha’s mother, Sandy Markgraf, was accompanied by her husband, Shannon.

Stacha’s friend’s carried placards with a photograph of her on them.

Tango was a neighbour of Stacha’s family in Matroosberg Street, Tafelsig.

He was released on parole last October for car theft and his mother previously revealed that he was accused of statutory rape involving a 16-year-old girl but that that the case was withdrawn.

Stacha disappeared on 27 March while watching movies at a friend’s home in Matroosberg Street.

The next day, her naked and battered body was found dumped on a soccer field at Swartklip Road, Tafelsig.