News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
3 Feb 2017
1:15 pm

Anika Smit ‘killer’ to remain in custody

Ilse de Lange

Van Wyk, who faces charges of murder, rape and mutilating the body of the 17-year-old Smit, had not proved any exceptional circumstances to justify his release on bail.

Andreas Johannes van Wyk is seen in the North Pretoria Magistrates Court during his bail hearing 3 February 2017, the court denied him bail, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

André ‘Smiley’ van Wyk, the man accused of the gruesome murder of Pretoria North teenager Anika Smit, has been refused bail pending his trial in the High Court in Pretoria.

Magistrate Pierre Wessels ruled that Van Wyk, who faces charges of murder, rape and mutilating the body of the 17-year-old Smit, had not proved any exceptional circumstances to justify his release on bail. The blonde schoolgirl’s father Johan discovered her naked body in their home in Theresa Park when he returned home from work on March 10, 2010.

She had been sexually violated, had several stab wounds, and her hands had been chopped off and removed from the scene. Her hands were never recovered. The Grade 11 pupil at the Hoërskool Gerrit Maritz in Pretoria was at home with an ear infection that day. Smit on September 17 last year out of the blue walked into the Pretoria North police station and confessed to murdering and raping Smit, who was a school friend.

He later repeated his confession to a magistrate. A few days later, he told Van Aardt he was innocent and that he and his family had been threatened so that he would accept responsibility for Smit’s murder. This followed an inquest of almost two years to determine if anyone could be held responsible for the schoolgirl’s death.

Also read: Murder accused in Anika Smit case says he was forced to confess 

In a statement before court, Van Wyk said he would recant his confession, intended denying guilt to the charges and was intent on proving his innocence. He claimed he had been drinking the whole night before he made the confessions. He said the DNA found on Smit did not match his DNA, there were no eyewitnesses and no other evidence to link him to the trial.

Wessels said there was nothing exceptional in Van Wyk’s personal circumstances. He said although Van Wyk’s DNA was not found at the scene and his confessions did not in all respects correlate with the murder scene and the method used, there was enough prima facie evidence against him for which he would have to give an explanation when he went on trial.

The magistrate who took down the confession noted that Van Wyk had been drinking, but said he appeared sober. Although Van Wyk had the chance, he did never told the magistrate about the threats against him and his family.

All indications were that Van Wyk’s confessions to Van Aardt, a senior police officer, and the magistrate had been made spontaneously, the magistrate said. He said the state had already decided to move the case to the high court and Van Wyk might not have to wait very long before he went on trial.