Inquest into girl's death hears chilling Mxit message about killing rituals

2015-09-15 15:49
 Anika Smit

Anika Smit

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Johannesburg - An inquest into the gruesome death of a teenage girl on Tuesday heard of chilling Mxit messages sent by a school friend, who asked another boy about killing rituals.

"i want 2 c a persne dead.. do u have a ritual 2 kil."

This was part of a message sent via Mxit by a school friend of slain 17-year-old Anika Smit, whose throat was slit and her hands chopped off when she was killed in 2010.

This same boy spent his spare time dissecting snakes and then freezing them.

The possibility that the occult may have been behind her killing was suggested during the inquest into her death on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Tania Carstens asked the mother of a boy who police questioned after her murder, if she knew about Mxit messages between her son, who called himself "Vampire" on the chat app, and another boy called "Satan's Eyes".

The court has ordered that none of the witnesses or their children be named.

"Will you give me one ritual," read part of a message from "Vampire" to "Satan's Eyes". He gave a long reply about burying a shoebox with a doll inside at a cemetery.


(Jenni Evans, News24)

Just like any other 18-year-old

"That is from your [son's] phone," Carstens said gently to "Vampire's" mother at the inquest in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court.

But his mother said she knew nothing about that, except for his user name, and would have noticed if her son had been into something like that.

To her, he was just like any 18-year-old - a bit of a rebel, thought he knew better, and asked why he and his siblings could not do things other children's parents allowed.

She said she knew the warning signs for a child in need of intervention - always coming home late, argumentative, not going to church - and her son did not show any of these.

Anika had stayed home from school with an ear infection on March 10, 2010. When her father Johan arrived at their home in Theresa Park, Pretoria North, he found her raped, her throat slit, and her hands chopped off and missing. Her boyfriend, Nico Venter, was charged, but the charges were later withdrawn.

No further progress has been made and so an inquest is running to try and gather more information about events before and after her death.

The mother in the witness stand said, on questioning, that her son (not Venter) had a scalpel-like knife which he used to dissect snakes then freeze them. He also milked them for venom.

His routine was predictable - she dropped him off at school and fetched him afterwards. He spent almost every day at his girlfriend's house after school.

'Vampire'

Wearing a neat black and white outfit, with her hair pulled back and a packet of tissues next to her, she said she would have known if her son had been up to anything strange.

Commenting on questions over his "Vampire" screen name, she said: "I myself like Vampire movies, a good thriller, but that does not mean I am a Satanist. You don't say to someone you want to drink blood, like people allege that [my son] did."

She was even grilled by lawyer Anton van Staden, representing Venter, on what colour clothes her child wore and whether he wore a lot of black.

She bought his clothes she explained, and it could be a yellow T-shirt one day, a white one the next, with jeans. He had black T-shirts, she acknowledged, but said his dress sense involved wearing whatever came out of the cupboard first.

She was also asked by Magistrate Pierre Wessels why she had given her children the names she did, with him commenting that two of the names could mean "the devil" or "demon", and one was a horror film title. She rejected this.

"I chose them because I think they are nice," she said.


Anika Smit's father Johan (Jenni Evans, News24)

Day of murder

On the day of Anika's murder, she explained that she dropped her son off at school, but he came home at around 9:00.

This was not that unusual because he did not like to use public toilets and would sometimes call her from a Pick n Pay near the school and ask her to fetch him so that he could go home and use the toilet.

Then she would take him back to school. She said sometimes he bunked as well. On the day of Anika's murder, he arrived home and said he wanted to sell his violin so that he could buy his girlfriend a soft toy from the Crazy Store.

She said she was unhappy that he had been pulled out of school by the police in front of everybody for questioning over Anika's murder because other pupils had been questioned discreetly.

She was shown pictures of a young man holding a crucifix and a sword and was criticised for not being able to say outright that it was not her son. She eventually did, but not before she received some stern questions from Van Staden.

"It's not my son, it's not my son," she said.

Eventually she declared it was not him. She was also asked to explain a nick on his neck and she said it had happened in a tussle between herself and her daughter that her son had become involved in.

"You have never seen anything in his bedrooms, something demonic or something?" asked the magistrate.

"No," she said.

Her son's twin sister was expected to take the witness stand after the lunch break.

On Monday, the court visited the house where she was found dead. At one point her father was also questioned over her murder.



Nico Venter, Anika's boyfriend who was originally charged in connection with her murder (Jenni Evans)

Read more on:    anika smit  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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