Cape Town - The bail application date for Piketberg police constable Richard Smit, accused of killing his girlfriend Natasha Booise on January 2, has been set down for February 17.
The court also reserved February 24 for bail judgment.
Smit, 35, made an appearance at the Piketberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday where he faces seven charges, including the murder of Booise, two counts of attempted murder on Roslin Kaaiman and Erin Plaatjies, discharging of a firearm in public, handling of a firearm while under the influence of a substance which has an intoxicating or narcotic effect, and two counts of assault.
The case was also postponed last week, after Smit changed his legal representative and hired a city-based lawyer, William Booth. However Booth was not present in court and the case was postponed to Monday this week, for him to come on record.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the State was ready for the bail application and would oppose it.
The incident raised questions over how recruits in the police service are screened, whether regular counselling was given. Families and anti-GBV activists questioned how Smit, who was off duty at the time of the incident, had gained access to a service pistol, which he allegedly used to kill Booise.
Outside the court, the community staged a demonstration calling for Smit to be denied bail.
A memorandum with demands with more than 3 000 signatures was handed over to the NPA, police, and the magistrate’s court. There is also an online petition with 11 000 signatures opposing bail for Smit.
In the memorandum, the community said Smit and his past offences were well known and that following the incident there were fears for his safety as some community members were seeking revenge.
The community further demanded that police in the area be evaluated to determine if they were competent to own a firearm.
Piketberg community police forum (CPF) chairperson Mark Lintnaar said the CPF was in unison with the community in seeking justice, which he said would heal the loss.
Family member Estelle van Wiese said the family were grateful for the unwavering support from the community which she said had been shown since the incident.
Booise was buried on the weekend. Smit remained in custody.