Piketberg protests: ‘No bail’ for cop who killed his girlfriend, says community

Richard “Makka” Smit, the Piketberg police officer accused of murdering his girlfriend Natasha Booise, made a second appearance in the local Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 7 January.

PIKETBERG DEMANDS JUSTICE

Smit allegedly shot and killed Booise on Sunday, 2 January, in front of her family members including her now-11-year-old son who recently celebrated his birthday.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the Sergeant is charged with murder, attempted murder and discharging a firearm in a public area.

“More charges are likely to be added as the investigation continues,” said Eric Ntabazalila, the NPA spokesperson in the Western Cape.

Smit’s case was postponed until Thursday, 13 January when he is expected to make a formal bail application, which the State intends to oppose.

Hundreds of Piketberg community members picketed outside the Magistrate’s Court – as they did at the accused’s first appearance.

The protestors handed over a memorandum of demands and a petition with more than 3000 signatures to the NPA, police and Department of Justice.

“The State was told that there are 11 000 more online/ electronic signatures opposing bail against the accused,” said Ntabazalila.

The Piketberg Community Policing Forum and “Justice for Natasha Booise” Facebook pages have been integral for the community as a way to organise and bring attention to the matter.

SHOOTING OF NATASHA BOOISE

Booise was reportedly walking with her friends and family on the Piketberg Main Road at approximately 19:00 on Sunday when Smit arrived in his vehicle.

According to IPID, the accused pulled up behind the group, Booise walked to him, and the pair spoke. They were seen holding hands; however, the family said the conversation was inaudible.

Moments later, Smit allegedly cocked his service pistol and fired multiple shots at the deceased as she ran from him, said IPID spokesperson Grace Langa. Booise was declared dead at the scene.

Family members told News24 that Smit kept firing and allegedly tried to kill Booise’s mother.

The accused surrendered himself to the police on the same day as the shooting.

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