Bail application postponed after Smit’s lawyer failed to show up in Piketberg murder

Richard “Makka” Smit, the Piketberg cop suspected of killing his girlfriend Natasha Booise in January, was due to file a bail application at the local magistrate’s court on Thursday, February 17th.

Smit is accused of killing Booise, attempting to kill Roslin Kaaiman and Erin Plaatjies, firing a firearm in a populated area, handling a firearm while under the influence of an intoxicating or narcotic substance, and two counts of assault.

Smit allegedly fired his 9mm Z88 service handgun in the alleged attack on the Piketberg Main Road on 2 January, according to a charge document viewed by The South African.

The accused was expected to make a bail application on Thursday but now the matter is postponed to 24 February because his legal representative, William Booth, was not present in court.

“The prosecutor, Henrietta Kruger, informed the court that Booth was booked off sick,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

The State also submitted a Schedule 6 Certificate to the court. The onus is now on the defence to prove why Smit’s release on bail is in the interest of justice.

Magistrate Pieter Leon Grundlingh, of the Piketberg court, was unimpressed was Booth’s absence, especially since another representative from his office was not present.

“[Grundlingh] told the accused that he contacted Booth’s office to ask for another lawyer to represent the accused in court today,” said Ntabazalila.

The Magistrate said arrangements had to be made in order to accommodate the bail application and that he would deal with the postponements “as bail is supposed to be dealt with expeditiously.”

The alleged murder of Booise has attracted widespread media attention and inspired protest action from the Piketberg community.

The Magistrate said repeated postponements of the bail matter were not in the interest of justice or the community.

“He ordered that Booth or another lawyer be present in court at 9:00 at the next appearance in order to deal with the bail application,” said the NPA spokesperson.

The Magistrate also dismissed Smit’s request to be moved to Saron Prison from Malmesbury Prison. Smit said he was mixed with the general prison population but the Magistrate said his reasons were vague.

However, Grundlingh said he would endorse a communication to the Malmesbury Prison authorities to investigate threats to Smit’s wellbeing at the prison.

The NPA is ready to oppose the bail application. Ntabazalila pointed out that all the postponements in the matter thus far have been at the behest of the defence.

↯↯↯Read More On The Topic On TDPel Media ↯↯↯