South Africans might not be clear who in the ANC is winning the battle, but there is little doubt that it is the people of the country who are losing, writes Howard Feldman.
High level clouds. Mild.
The inquest into the murder and mutilation of teenager Anika Smit has wrapped for the day in Pretoria, with neighbour Roelof Pottas giving testimony on the day her body was found. WARNING: Graphic detail.
And that's a wrap for today, reports News24's Wim Pretorius from the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court.
Court dates have been set for the next person to testify on 17, 18 and 19 May.
Read on for how the gruesome details of Anika Smit's murder was retold in court by her father's neighbour, Roelof Pottas.
WARNING: Much of the details below are graphic in nature.
Pottas concludes his testimony.
The judge thanks Pottas for his involvement in the community regarding the case and that he took time out of his day to help the court search for answers.
Pottas is asked again about Johan covering
up his daughter's private parts before allowing him to enter.
Pottas says it took only seconds.
Van Staden, the boyfriend's lawyer, says: "Sounds like a man who
attached a great amount of value to his daughter.”
The State says friends of Anika will say that her father wasn't very harsh on her with regards to the time she stayed out at night with friends and that she regularly went to parties.
The court is shown a picture of Johan's face with a mark underneath his right eye. Pottas is asked if he knows it.
He says he doesn't remember the mark when Johan's daughter was killed.
Koekemoer, Johan's lawyer, interjects and says the picture was taken long afterwards.
He says Anika's father most certainly wasn't
seeing anyone or in a relationship during the time of her death.
The State asks Pottas if he has anything bad to
say about Johan.
Pottas says no.
"But when they separated and her
mother moved to the Cape, it must have had a big effect on Anika," Pottas says.
"Johan gave a lot of attention to his
daughter and maybe spoiled her a little bit when he bought her a motorbike and
before that drove her everywhere she wanted to go."
Pottas is asked about the instances he saw Anika and her father arguing.
He says he assumed first instance was about satanism.
Pottas says the second instance was when her father bought her a motorbike.
"I told her father that I wouldn't be happy if it was my child getting a motorbike at that age. I think that is what the second fight between them was about."
Koekemoer asks Pottas if he ever acted as
someone who could murder his own daughter.
"No. Never," he replies.
Koekemoer asks Pottas to describe how
Anika's father acted when he saw him.
"Before he said something I already
saw something big was wrong. I immediately realised that he was shocked. He was
very sad that evening and that's why I didn't want him to be alone and told him
to stay over at our house."
Koekemoer asks Pottas how many times he saw
her with the black nails and hair.
Pottas says about three times - only when they
were both outside.
Koekemoer asks Pottas what injuries he
noticed when he saw Anika's body.
"I saw a blood stain next to the
right side of her head. Also saw blood on her neck and face and assumed there
were also injuries on those parts of her body."
Koekemoer says Steyn said that Anika's
breasts were also covered by the blanket.
Pottas says that is not true.
The lawyer of Anika’s father Willem
Koekemoer asks Pottas if he noticed any injuries on her father's body when he came
knocking on his door to tell him he thinks his daughter has been murdered.
Venter's lawyer, Anton van Staden asks Pottas if he is certain the blanket or towel that was on her body covered her private parts.
Pottas says he is certain.
Pottas continues his testimony...
"Johan and Chris Steyn were with me the entire time [when Anika's body was found]," Pottas restarts.
"The only time Johan was not with me was when he placed a little blanket or towel over her private parts."
Before proceedings begin, the judge rebukes a Pretoria-based journalist head for recording proceedings.
She was told to leave the courthouse to ensure the they get deleted.
At that, the court adjourns for tea, News24's Wim Pretorius reports.
Stay tuned for more details from the inquest into Anika Smit's gruesome murder when court restarts.
The break should be around 20 minutes long.
Referring back to Anika's changed hair and sombre demeanour during one particular phase, Pottas says:
"The first time she had black hair she wore black pants, but I saw her mostly with the black hair and normal clothing, not necessarily only black clothes.
"I know she had a lot of guy friends and girl friends that were very unhappy with the news of her death."
Pottas: "Forensics came quite late."
"When I entered the house, the blood was still wet and busy sinking into the carpet.
"In the bedroom the blood from her head was also still wet.
Pottas says he is 100% sure that her legs are in a changed position in the
crime scene photos from how it looked when he saw it.
Her upper body was
in the same position as in the photos though.
He says it was like the
Oscar case where anybody could have entered and changed the position of
Pottas continues his testimony about the graphic photographs show in court.
Pottas is asked about Venter [the boyfriend] being at Anika's home the night before she was murdered.
He says he is not aware of that and is certain the alleged fight he remembers wasn't on that evening.
Referring to the alleged fight between Anika and her boyfriend:
"I assumed they were in an argument because of how he pushed her away.
"A guy doesn't just push his girlfriend away when she wants to kiss him. I wouldn't do that so I don't comprehend it."
Pottas: "The day of the incident I was alone at the house, my wife wasn't there.
"I was on the scene until about 21:00, maybe later. I saw Venter [Anika's boyfriend] on the scene and he was quiet and seemed calm from what I saw. He didn't try to get attention."
"She then took a written affidavit in my home and left."
"I heard in June again from the police when major Mike van Aardt told me he has taken over the case."
After Anika's death her father had a very tough time, Pottas continues.
"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 heart broken man."
Pottas: "Johan only told me that he thinks his child has been murdered [when Johan came to his house].
"All I wanted to say is I'm a private person and I respect my neighbour's privacy also so I never heard any fights."
Pottas: "The fight Anika and her boyfriend was after she had coloured her hair back to blonde.
"So I think it was about three months before her death. It happened outside on the pavement.
"I assumed it was a fight because of their attitudes. It might have been playful, but I saw him pushing her away one or two times.
"It was clear she wasn't amused thereby."
Pottas: "Johan told me that when he saw the gate was open and the dogs were nowhere in sight he knew something was off.
"He said she would never leave the security gate open."
Johan was very active at his house; always working on the garage doors and doing other handyman type of work, he adds.
"I don't know Damian Treeby," Pottas replied.
"I asked Anika's father if he called police. He said that there was no answer."
He says there was one time he saw her and her boyfriend fighting and Anika tried to kiss him but he pushed her away.
"That is all I saw."
"The light was on in the room, but the curtains were closed if I remember correctly."
State asks if Pottas was aware of any fight between Anika and her father the day before her death.
He says no.
Pottas says he has no idea what happened ti the first one, just that he is certain he gave it to a police officer.
He says he is happy with the affidavit apart from the statement on satanism not being in it.
"It is the only difference between that one and the first one."
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