Former teachers of Andre van Wyk, the 24-year-old who yesterday appeared in the Pretoria North Magistrates’ Court in connection with the gruesome murder of a former school friend, Anika Smit, six years ago have expressed shock about the “shy, introverted” young man’s arrest.
Van Wyk, who handed himself over to the police on Saturday, briefly appeared in court on charges of murder, rape and mutilating a body.
The case was postponed until next Monday for a possible formal bail application.
The 17-year-old blonde schoolgirl’s father, Johan Smit, discovered her naked body in their home in Theresa Park when he came home on March 19, 2010.
She had been sexually violated, had stab wounds and her hands had been chopped off. Her hands were never recovered.
The Grade 11 pupil at the Hoërskool Gerrit Maritz in Pretoria was at home with an ear infection that day.
Although Van Wyk has not yet been asked to plead to the charges, Magistrate Pierre Wessels gave permission that his name could be used to end speculation.
Anika’s former boyfriend, Nico Venter, who was at one stage arrested in connection with her murder, said he did not recognise Van Wyk, but was relieved that someone had finally come forward.
Damian Treeby, at whom fingers were also pointed, said he knew Van Wyk, who was at school with Anika and had been at his home before, but was shocked when he saw him in court.
Former teachers of Van Wyk yesterday said they remembered him as a shy, withdrawn young man whose nickname was Smiley because he always had a smile on his face.