Posted on March 16, 2010

Girl’s Hands Stolen by Her South African Murderers

Hilda Fourie, Beeld (South Africa), March 12, 2010

Blonde teenager Anika Smit, (17) was found murdered at her Pretoria home on March 11, 2010–with her hands and forearms chopped off.

The girl’s limbs are missing–cut off just below the elbows–said South African police constable William Mahlaole. Nothing else was robbed. Body-parts have great value in South Africa: there is a flourishing trade in human body-parts for the lucrative ‘traditional medicine’ (muti) market in South Africa. People often are found mutilated–and usually body parts are cut off while the victims were still alive to ‘increase the power of the medicine’.

The girl had stayed home from her Gerrit Maritz Afrikaans High School with an ear-infection that day and was feeling unwell, said her father Johan, 54. Her parents are divorced and she lived with her dad.

That morning he had still said goodbye to his only child before going to work and tried to phone her during the day–but received no response. When he returned from work at 4pm at their Theresa Park, Pretoria suburban home he saw overturned chairs in the living room and knew at once ‘something was wrong’, he told journalists of the Afrikaans-language daily Beeld. “I called to her but she did not reply’. Seconds later he discovered her lifeless body in her bedroom.

“She was lying on the floor without clothes on. Both her hands were cut off and missing. There also were six cuts in her neck police told me. The people (her murderers) must have taken the limbs along with them,’ he said. “Police examiners will still have to determine whether she was raped.’

From the crime scene it appeared that she had either fought back or tried to run away, police said. The father had tried phoning her earlier in the day but received no reply–however he believed she probably wasn’t feeling well enough to talk on the phone. He had also arranged for medicine to be delivered to the house–but around noon the pharmacy phoned him with the news that no-one had opened the door.’

“I phoned her around lunch-time but I thought she didn’t reply because she didn’t feel well,’ he said. The flag at her school was hanging at half-mast yesterday.

[Editor’s Note: This is a translation of the original article in Afrikaans.]