It was painful enough for murder victim Joey van Niekerk’s family to hear from the police that the burnt remains found in Buffelsfontein belonged to her, and that her wife Anisha’s remains were not yet found.
Now Joey’s aunt, Joey Burnard, has been informed by the investigating officer, Colonel Mokafela Nkosi, that there was a mistake, and that the DNA results “were incorrectly read”, Kormorant reports. He said on Friday that the remains belonged to Anisha van Niekerk, and not to Joey.
“I contacted Anisha’s family and found out that police had not yet informed them. I had to tell them and Joey’s siblings. It was very difficult,” Burnard told Kormorant.
It was a shock for Joey’s family to hear the initial results in court. “But at least we would have been able to begin processing her death. We had already begun arranging to collect her remains for a memorial, and now this,” Van Niekerk’s sister, Rina Payne said. “It feels as if everything is starting all over again.”
The police reacted by expressing their sincere apologies and condolences to the families. “There was a mistake in court,” confirmed police spokesperson Mpeile Talane.
Joey and Anisha disappeared from their farm in Mooinooi in December last year. Their burnt car was found near Magaliesburg.
Eight suspects stand accused of murder; conspiring to commit murder; kidnapping; rape; breaking and entering and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
They have been identified as the panelbeater (52) who rented a workshop on Joey and Anisha’s farm, along with his wife (21), his son (29), the son’s girlfriend (18), as well as two workers and two other unidentified men.
The panelbeater, believed to be the ‘mastermind’ of the murders, has applied for bail along with with his wife, his son and his son’s girlfriend. The eight accused will appear in the Brits Magistrate’s court again on May 25.
This article was translated from Afrikaans.