Charges provisionally withdrawn against Anika Smit's rape, murder accused

2017-08-30 15:43
Andreas Johannes Van Wyk. (Netwerk24)

Andreas Johannes Van Wyk. (Netwerk24)

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Pretoria - Charges against Andreas Johannes Van Wyk, who was accused of raping, murdering and mutilating Anika Smit in 2010, were provisionally withdrawn in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old, who is also known as Smiley, handed himself over to police in September last year and was then subsequently arrested and charged.

State Prosecutor Tania Carsten told the court that the charges were being provisionally withdrawn and requested that the nearly two-year-long inquest into Smit's murder, which was halted by Van Wyk's arrest, continue. 

Netwerk24 reported that Van Wyk had appeared in court last week where the matter was postponed for further psychological reports.

Up to now, the police have not been able to find enough evidence against anyone to prosecute.

During Van Wyk's first court appearance following his arrest, among those seated in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court's public gallery were three "persons of interest" in the inquest: Her father, Johan Smit, ex-boyfriend Nico Venter and Damian Treeby, an acquaintance who testified about satanic rituals.

At the time, Smit's father had expressed relief that his daughter's case would finally move forward.

He 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.

Maintaining innocence

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 17-year-old 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. Her hands have still not been found.

She was a Grade 11 pupil at Gerrit Maritz High School, the same school Van Wyk attended.  

Treeby, who was dubbed "the vampire" because he went by the name on messaging application Mxit, said at the time that he was glad that justice had finally been served and that his name had been cleared.

"For the past six years I have been treated like a criminal. And I was found guilty by public opinion. I was labelled a satanist and a murderer by several people, including the media.

"I maintained my innocence from day one and that is still the case," he said.

Treeby said he had received threats, especially on social media.

"I was and still am not guilty."

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime  |  courts

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