Murdered Pretoria teen's mom: 'All I do is pray and hope for answers'
The mother of Anika Smit (17), who was raped, murdered and had her hands chopped off in her father's house in Pretoria North eight years ago, was in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court this week as the judicial inquiry into her daughter's death continues.
Charlotte Eksteen (60), from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape, says she doesn't know what to make of the proceedings, which have now been postponed to September 5.
She also doesn't understand why another "person of interest", Ryno Brink, has been added to the investigation.
"It was disappointing," Charlotte told YOU on Wednesday.
"Everything was just drips and drabs – but I suppose that's how it works. I wish some facts would start coming to light."
Brink was initially just a witness in the case but now has to be given leave to appoint a lawyer before the investigation can continue.
According to Netwerk24 a former friend of Anika's, Hanrika Beukes, had implicated Brink to Anika's father when she told him several "stories" about the day of the teen's death.
Beukes told Anika's dad that Brink had gone to the house on the day of the murder with the intention of having sex with Anika.
Anika stayed home from school with an ear infection on March 10, 2010 when she was murdered in her father's house in Theresa Park.
After the case was postponed, Charlotte travelled back to Mossel Bay by bus.
She'd missed the first day of the inquiry on Monday after the bus she'd been travelling in hit a kudu near De Rust in the Karoo and passengers had to wait five hours for another bus to pick them up.
The trip eventually took 24 hours and she arrived in Pretoria on Monday afternoon.
But the search for answers has taken eight years so far and no one has been charged and tried for Anika’s murder.
The pretty blonde girl was a Grade 11 pupil at Gerrit Maritz high school in Pretoria North when she was raped and murdered in the home of her dad, Johan. Her attacker(s) had cut off her hands and disappeared with them. Her hands were never found.
The judicial inquiry, a procedure in which witnesses are called to determine whether a suspect can be identified and charged, was well on track some years ago when a former classmate of Anika's, André "Smiley" van Wyk (25), turned himself in to police out of the blue one night.
But, after declaring he was the murderer, the case against Smiley was withdrawn a year later after he confessed it had been a false statement and that he'd been threatened into confessing to the murder.
But Smiley is a person of interest in the murder, along with Anika's dad, Johan, her ex-boyfriend, Nico Venter, Charlotte, and another school friend, Damian Treeby. Brink has now joined their ranks as a person of interest.
'Ready for anything'
Charlotte says after all these years it feels as if few things can shock her any more.
"I'm ready for anything."
She says travelling all that way to court and back is exhausting.
“I'm getting older. All I do is pray and hope [for answers]. To sit there [in court] tires my mind so much, to keep listening and hoping something comes to light."