Lawyer for 'person of interest' in Anika Smith murder inquest withdraws

2016-05-17 16:45
Anika Smit's father Johan (Jenni Evans, News24)

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

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Pretoria - The inquest into the horrific murder of Anika Smith took an unexpected turn on Tuesday as Damian Treeby's lawyer withdrew from representing him due to "certain circumstances".

The matter continued in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court, where Treeby was again pointed out as person of interest.

Treeby's lawyer, Sunette Potgieter, announced that she had withdrawn from the case.

"Certain circumstances surrounding my client have urged me to step aside as legal representation. I understand that he will be getting other legal aid," Potgieter told the court.

Treeby, who has been dubbed "Vampire" because of his MXit name, was previously a suspect in the matter. He was not present in court on Tuesday.

No DNA match

Magistrate Pierre Wessels said that, while Treeby hadn't been charged or implicated in anything, he was still a person of interest.

In November last year, a DNA sample from Treeby was tested to determine if it matched a DNA sample found on Anika's body. The results were negative.

He told the inquest in November that he had been to a party where shooter drinks, which may have contained blood, were given to guests at the door. People were seen drawing blood from one another.

The matter was rolled over until Wednesday to allow for Treeby's new legal representation.

Both Anika's father, Johan Smit, and mother, Charlotte Eksteen, were present for proceedings.

In February, Roelof Pottas, a neighbour of her father, told the court that he believed she was possibly involved with Satanism shortly before she was murdered on April 10 2010.

A heartbroken man

After Anika's death, her father had a very tough time, Pottas said.

"The only time I heard him after the murder was when he played sad music over weekends. I told my wife that he is a very heartbroken man."

When Pottas was asked about the possibility of Johan killing his own daughter, he said that he didn't believe it was possible at all.

Pottas told the court that he had known Johan for 23 years and that, apart from Johan, he was the first person on the scene after she was murdered.

He had entered Anika's bedroom and seen her naked on the floor with blood stains next to her head, both her hands were cut off, and a bottle was sticking out from between her legs.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime

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