Murder accused told confession didn’t help bail application
THE MAN charged over the killing of Pretoria woman Anika Smit and mutilating her body will have to spend two more months in custody after the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court denied him bail yesterday.
The court held that Johan van Wyk had confessed to various people that he raped and killed Smit and this did not help his bail application.
Van Wyk, 24, appeared in the court yesterday to hear magistrate Pierre Willemse’s ruling on his bail bid.
Willemse said that Van Wyk voluntarily went to the police station in Pretoria North in September, where he confessed to the crime.
He then later confessed to a colonel in the police service, a magistrate, as well as a cellmate after he was arrested.
“The fact you voluntarily confessed to this crime was very important to your bail being denied,” Willemse said.
Van Wyk is charged with rape, murder and mutilating a corpse.
The rape charge stems from the fact Smit was found with a plastic bottle inserted in her genitals.
Her throat was slit and her body riddled with stab wounds.
Her body was mutilated and her hands, which haven’t been found, were cut off.
Willemse said since this was a Schedule 6 offence, the onus was on Van Wyk to prove there were exceptional circumstances for him to be granted bail, which his defence team failed to do.
Van Wyk was found not to be a flight risk and his home circumstances were found not to be exceptional.
The accused said in a sworn affidavit read to the court on Tuesday that he did not kill Smit.
“I did not kill her and regret giving false hope that Anika’s killer has been found,” he said.
He said he had been approached by a man and a woman while out with friends last year and they instructed him to confess to the murder.
“These two unknown per- sons instructed me to go to the SAPS to confess I killed Anika Smit, failing which they would inflict grievous harm on my family and I,” he told the court.
He said he intended to recant his confession as he was not of sound and sober mind when he made it.
The accused was admitted to the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital where he underwent an extended psychiatric evaluation.He was found to be capable of understanding court proceedings and capable of contributing meaningfully to his own defence – fit to stand trial.
Prosecutor Tania Carstens said the accused and the deceased knew each other as they both were pupils at the Gerrit Maritz High School. She was in Grade 11 when she was killed.
Carstens said Van Wyk had scratched on the school desk in 2013 that he had murdered her – a matter which was taken up with his mother.
The prosecutor said that Van Wyk had told his cellmates that they were lucky that he did not do the same to them.
He allegedly told them that he was going to mess with the investigation and tell the court that he wanted to withdraw his statement.
Van Wyk is the only person who was charged for Smit’s murder. Her father, Johan Smit, who lived with her at the time, and one of her former boyfriends were considered suspects at one stage but were never formally charged.
Before Van Wyk’s confession there was a lengthy inquest heard in the court to determine if anyone could be held criminally liable for her death. The case was postponed to April 4 for indictment ahead of it being transferred to the Pretoria High Court.