Pretoria - André “Smiley” van Wyk is sorry that his “false confession” about the murder of Anika Smit gave her parents false hope and wasted the police’s time.
“I am sorry I did it,” he said in a statement handed to the Magistrate’s Court in Pretoria North on Tuesday, Netwerk24 reported.
Van Wyk is applying for bail after handing himself over to police on September 17 in connection with the murder.
According to his statement, he went to the police because someone threatened to harm his family if he didn’t take the blame for the murder of 17-year-old Anika in 2010.
“I work as an aircon technician. I attended a work function on September 16. I drank alcohol from 14:00 to the early hours of the morning. Later, I went to nightclubs with friends.
“At one club in Mountain View (in Pretoria) a man and woman approached me. I didn’t know them. I remember the woman had blonde hair and green eyes.
“They made threats to me and my family. They even knew what schools my younger brothers and sisters attended. They told me to go to the police and confess to killing Anika Smit, otherwise, they’d hurt my family,” his statement reads.
“After my friends had dropped me off in Pretoria North, I went straight to the Pretoria North police station where I made a written ‘confession’,” Van Wyk said.
He realised soon after that he had made a “terrible mistake”. He wanted to withdraw the confession and plead not guilty.
“The DNA that was found on Anika Smit’s body cannot be connected to me. I have never been to her house and there are is no evidence, besides the so-called confession, to connect me to the murder.
“I know I said in the confession that I killed her after taking drugs, but I have never used drugs,” he said.
Although he feared for his own and his family’s safety, he wanted the case to be heard so he could clear his name.
The bail application continues.
Smit, a Grade 11 pupil at Gerrit Maritz High School, lived with her father Johan Smit at the time of her death.
On the day of her murder, she stayed home from school because of an ear infection. She was raped, her throat was slit and her hands were cut off. Her hands have still not been found.
Van Wyk was sent for evaluation at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital late last year.