'I will shoot you dead': Piketberg cop allegedly on drugs when Natasha Booise was gunned down

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Natasha Booise was shot dead, allegedly by a Piketberg police officer, in front of her young son.
Natasha Booise was shot dead, allegedly by a Piketberg police officer, in front of her young son.
PHOTO: Supplied
  • The Piketberg policeman charged with murdering his girlfriend Natasha Booise in the town's main road now also faces drug charges.
  • He has appointed top criminal lawyer William Booth to defend him.
  • Booise's funeral will be held on Saturday.

Piketberg police officer Richard Smit was allegedly under the influence of drugs when he allegedly shot dead his girlfriend Natasha Booise on 2 January, using a police Z88 firearm.

According to court documents, he also threatened to kill two other women before Booise's day with family turned into tragedy in the town's main road.

Smit appeared briefly in the Piketberg Magistrate's Court on Thursday so that top criminal defence lawyer William Booth could go on record for him.

Booth was not present on Thursday but will be available on Monday, 17 January, when bail processes will continue.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Smit now faced seven charges, compared to the three charges at his first court appearance.

These include the murder of Booise; two counts for the attempted murder of Roslin Kaaiman and Erin Plaatjies; discharging a firearm in a built-up area; handling a firearm while under the influence of a substance which has an intoxicating or narcotic effect; and two counts of assault for allegedly threatening the women.

READ | Violent attacks in Piketberg are 'cold reminder' of GBV reality, says MEC

"The State is ready for the bail application and will oppose it," the NPA said in a statement.

Smit was charged with killing Booise while she was walking with family in the Western Cape town days before her 36th birthday.

Family members told News24 that Smit had driven up to them in his private vehicle on the main road, and Booise had gone to talk to him. Booise refused to get into his car. A few minutes later, shots were heard, and family members ran in different directions for safety.

Earlier in the day, family members heard snippets of conversation between the couple, with Booise asking him for some time with her family before they met up.

According to documentation submitted to court on Thursday, he allegedly told Kaaiman, "Ek skiet vir jou vrek" (I will shoot you dead) in the lead up to the shocking events.

In the meantime, arrangements are under way for Booise's funeral on Saturday in the tight-knit town along the Western Cape's wheat-growing belt.

SEE ALSO | 'I had to get him away from the bullets': Relative recalls moments after woman shot dead in front of son, family

Activist Billy Claasen said Booise was known to be a very kind person who lifted people's spirits wherever she went.

"She was that person – very kind and loving."

Tributes for Booise were posted on social media, with one featuring a slideshow and song.

A group gathered outside the court again on Thursday to show support for her family and to fortify their demand that he not be granted bail in a weighty petition containing thousands of signatures.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is investigating the shooting, according to IPID spokesperson Grace Langa.

Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said Smit was suspended.

The latest court appearance came amid heightened concern over gun control in law enforcement, after Dumisani Joxo was shot dead during a scuffle over an open cooking fire in Rondebosch, Cape Town.


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