Anika Smits' father, ex-boyfriend relieved after man hands himself in

2016-09-19 13:55
Anika Smit's ex-boyfriend Nico Venter speaks to the media outside the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Anika Smit's ex-boyfriend Nico Venter speaks to the media outside the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Johannesburg - Slain teenager Anika Smit's father was both emotional and relieved on Monday after a 24-year-old man was charged with her murder, rape and mutilation.

Shortly after the matter was heard in the Pretoria North Magistrate's on Monday, Johan Smit told reporters through his lawyer Willem Koekemoer that it had been an emotional day for him.

"We are glad that someone has come forth and taken responsibility and from thereon we will follow the court case and we will see what happens with the criminal case from there," Koekemoer said.

Smit kept his eyes lowered and did not speak much during the duration of the court proceedings on Monday morning. He left quietly after his lawyer addressed the reporters.

Smit discovered his daughter in their Theresa Park home with her throat slit, her hands severed and a glass bottle sticking out from between her legs.

The teenager had stayed away from school with an ear infection on the day of her murder and appeared to have opened the door for her attacker.

Three "persons of interest" became central to the case, including her father.

Another was a friend of hers, Damian Treeby, who was dubbed "the vampire" for his name on messaging application Mxit as well as Smit's ex-boyfriend, Nico Venter.

Schoolmate

An inquest was held due to insufficient evidence to arrest and put someone on trial.

However, at the weekend, Andreas Johannes van Wyk handed himself over to police for Anika's murder.

During his first appearance in court on Monday, the 24-year-old, dressed in a greyish-brown blazer with a short but well-built frame, stood obediently in the dock as Magistrate Pierre Wessels told him about his rights.

Van Wyk requested Legal Aid assistance and the matter was postponed to September 26 for a formal bail application. He is believed to have been Anika's schoolmate.

Both Venter and Treeby and their families joined a packed court gallery eagerly awaiting Van Wyk's appearance.

Venter was initially accused of killing her but the charges were withdrawn.

On Monday, Venter said he was surprised when he heard that someone had handed himself in.

"I'm glad he came forward. We’ll see what the developments are after this, hopefully now nobody that is innocent will be arrested [and] we can come bring this to a close."

Venter said he did not recognise Van Wyk but did not dispute that he may or may not have seen him once before.

Read more on:    anika smit  |  crime

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