A suspected serial killer with a passion for the occult has been charged with murdering a 13-year-old boy who was picking mangoes on his property.
Daniel Smit, 56, was arrested at his home in the town of Klawer in the South African province of Western Cape on 4th February.
Remains of the young victim, named as Jerobejin van Wyk, were found in a sewer pipe on the suspect’s property.
The youngster had reportedly been picking fruit on Smit’s property.
Smit made his first appearance at Klawer Magistrate’s Court last week and he has been formally charged with murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice.
Smit’s lawyer Santie Human said he confessed to her that he was introduced to the occult as a boy when he first learned how to dispose of a dead body.
She said: “My client got involved in the occult when he was 13 years old. In Vredendal, he met someone from out of town who gave him stuff about the occult to read. He felt he belonged – part of it.
“When he was 19, an occult group from Sea Point showed him how to kill with very little blood spilt and to incinerate the body and to throw any remains in the sea.”
The lawyer added: “My client is not a sick person, as in mental health problems. He has spiritual problems… He wants to be delivered from the evil spirits.”
She also said that Smit told her about at least four other bodies he had disposed of in the affluent Cape Town suburb of Sea Point.
Community leader Billy Claasen said Smit is suspected of being behind the disappearance of other children in the area.
Claasen added: “Maybe we are sitting with a serial killer. We need to take racism out of it, not to make it a racism issue. Don’t plant hatred in the mother’s heart, comfort her so that she doesn’t have discomfort anymore.”
Eric Ntabazalila of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said: “The case has been postponed until the 26th of April 2022 for further investigation. The accused’s lawyer has indicated that the accused does not intend to apply for bail.”