Shocking revelation in Anika Smit case: 'I’ve made a terrible mistake'

31 January 2017

"They told me that if I didn’t do it they would harm me and my family."

The young man who handed himself over in connection with the murder of Anika Smit now alleges that he was threatened and forced to deliver a false testimony.

Andre "Smiley" van Wyk (24), who appeared for a bail hearing on Tuesday in the Pretoria North magistrate court, said in his statement that he was innocent and did not rape, kill and dismember 17-year-old Anika on 10 March 2010.

Her hands, which were cut off, have still not been found. Back then it was assumed that her killer had cut off her hands to avoid traces of his DNA being found under her fingernails. Traces of DNA were however found at the crime scene.

Anika was brutally murdered in 2010. PHOTO: Archives Anika was brutally murdered in 2010. PHOTO: Archives

The court heard that his DNA was not a match to the DNA found at the scene and that his fingerprints were also not found at the scene. He said that delivering the false testimony was “a terrible mistake” but that he was under duress because his family’s lives were in danger.

Read more: Anika Smit murder accused visibly anxious after being sent for psychiatric evaluation

Adv. Corrie Nieuwenhuys and Latham Dixon spoke on behalf of Smiley. Corrie read Smiley’s testimony in which he describes what lead him to hand himself over for the murder at the Pretoria North police office on 17 September last year.

“That afternoon I’d attended a function at my workplace and consumed alcohol. After that me and a few friends visited a few places in Pretoria North and Mountain View. We drank all night until we ended up at the nightclub Buzz in the early hours of 17 September.

“Even though I was drunk I remember being approached by two unknown individuals, one man and one woman. I remember that the woman had blonde hair and green eyes. For no reason the pair started making threats against me and my family.

Read more: ‘He couldn’t have done it alone’: friends of Anika Smit murder suspect ‘shocked to the core’

“They told me to go to the police and hand myself over for the murder of Anika Smit. They told me that if I didn’t do it they would harm me and my family. The unknown pair even knew the names and schools of my younger brothers and sisters. My friends dropped me off in Pretoria North and I went straight to the police station to deliver a written admission of guilt.”

Later on in his bail application Smiley said that he only later realised that he had made a serious mistake. He also indicated that he wants to retract the false testimony.

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