New arrest in teen slaying linked to satanism

Pretoria – Police may have edged closer to unravelling the mystery behind the 2010 murder of Pretoria teenager Anika Smit after arresting a 24-year-old man who claimed to have information.

The man is expected to appear in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with the murder of the 17-year-old. Coincidentally, the inquest into the murder is scheduled to resume in the same court on Monday.Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the man handed himself in on Friday, saying he had information regarding the teenager’s murder.

“The man told us he had information about the murder. He is expected to appear in court on Monday,” Dlamini told the Pretoria News on Sunday.

Dlamini said he could not speak with certainty on what would transpire when he was asked if the turn of events would have any bearing on the ongoing inquest.

“The magistrate and prosecutor will have to decide what will happen to the inquest. The man is appearing in the same court where the inquest proceedings take place,” Dlamini said.

“His allegations or the information he brings forward will be tested in court. Therefore we cannot say whether this will bring an end to the inquest.”

Arno Olckers, legal representative for Anika’s mother Charlotte Eksteen, said he could not comment on the arrest.

“I have been instructed by my client not to speak to the media. Anika’s mother also wishes not to speak to the media at this point,” Olckers said.

Anika’s body was found in her home in Theresa Park.

Her hands were cut off and her body riddled with stab wounds. Her throat had been slit and she had been raped. The missing body parts were never found.

Testimony on satanism and occult activities took centre stage when a witness known as “Vampire” took the stand during the inquest. The young man had used the name on the messaging app Mxit.

Vampire attended Pretoria North High School and had allegedly been bullied by other pupils because of his thin build.

He said the reputation of being affiliated with satanism followed him when he transferred to Gerrit Maritz High School, the same school Anika attended.

Vampire was one of numerous people taken in for questioning days after Anika’s death.

In February, the inquest heard that Anika could also have dabbled in satanism and the occult following claims made by a neighbour.

Her neighbour Roelof Pottas said this was because of the way the teen changed her hair colour, nail colour and lip colour to black.

Pottas told the court that he believed she was possibly involved with satanism shortly before she was murdered.

The teenager had not gone to school on the day of her death because of an ear infection and Nico Venter, the boyfriend with whom she had just broken up, was arrested.

After charges against him were withdrawn, the investigation came to a standstill when investigating officer Major Mike van Aardt was transferred to handle the Oscar Pistorius case.

The inquest had been instituted in 2014 by magistrate Pierre Wessels, who said at the time that the aim was not to convict or acquit, but to allow records to assist him in deciding if there was sufficient evidence to prosecute anyone for the murder.

Wessels would examine records from the case, including the withdrawal of charges against Venter.

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