The Mercury

Man charged with Anika’s murder, rape

- Tankiso Makhetha

FAMILY and friends of slain Pretoria teenager Anika Smit can finally breathe a sigh of relief after a 24-year-old man was formally charged with her murder yesterday .

Andreas Johannes van Wyk appeared briefly in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court where he was also charged with rape and mutilation.

Van Wyk handed himself over to the police on Friday, bringing what might be an end to a six-year riddle into the teen’s murder.

While in the dock, he seemed nervous as magistrate Pierre Wessels read out his rights to him.

Despite Van Wyk facing a charge of rape, Wessels allowed him to be identified in the media – the precedent was set when Anika’s ex-boyfriend Nico Venter and school mate Damian Treeby were previously identified.

State prosecutor Tania Carstens asked for the matter to be postponed to allow the State sufficient time to complete its investigat­ions and do a profile on Van Wyk.

The State also wished to interrogat­e the informatio­n brought forward by Van Wyk, while also allowing the accused to appoint a lawyer. Wessels postponed the matter to September 27 for Van Wyk to make a formal bail applicatio­n.

Shortly after court proceeding­s, Anika’s father Johan Smit told journalist­s outside court that it was an emotional day.

Speaking through his lawyer Willem Koekemoer, Smit said: “We are glad that someone has come forth and taken responsibi­lity, and from thereon we will follow the court case and see what happens.”

Smit discovered the mutilated body of his then 17-yearold daughter in 2010 after she had not gone to school.

Her hands had been cut off and her body was covered with stab wounds.

Her missing body parts were never found, and she had been raped.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa