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Alleged killer of 13-year-old Jerobejin van Wyk finally declared fit to stand trial — almost two years later

Alleged killer of 13-year-old Jerobejin van Wyk finally declared fit to stand trial — almost two years later
Murder accused Daniel Smith, 54, is alleged to have kidnapped 13-year-old Jerobejin van Wyk on 2 February 2022, in Klawer in the Western Cape. Jerobejin's remains were found in a drain on 4 February 2022. Smith is facing charges of murder, kidnapping, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice. (Photo: Supplied))

Daniel Smith is accused of the murder of Jerobejin van Wyk in Klawer, Western Cape. Long waiting lists for psychiatric evaluation at Valkenberg hospital have seen delays in criminal cases.

Jerobejin van Wyk’s alleged killer is fit to stand trial, according to a psychiatric assessment report from Valkenberg psychiatric hospital.

This emerged when the matter was back in the Western Cape high court on Thursday. The report compiled by a panel of psychiatrists at Valkenberg was handed to the court but the contents will only be made available to the public by the trial court dealing with the matter. 

Daniel Smith is accused of murdering Jerobejin van Wyk on 2 February 2022. Two days after van Wyk went missing, his remains were found in a drain on the accused’s property.

The question of Smith’s mental capacity to stand trial first came up during his appearance in Klawer Magistrate Court on 26 April, 2022. A psychological examination by Vredendal psychologist CWA van Zyl provided horrifying details about how Smith allegedly murdered Van Wyk and prompted the court to order that the accused be transferred for a 30-day mental observation.

Jerobejin van Wyk

Thirteen-year-old Jerobejin van Wyk went missing on 2 February 2022, in Klawer in the Western Cape. His remains, without his head, legs, hands and feet, were found in a drain on Friday, 4 February. (Photo: Joyrene Kramer)

Due to the long waiting list for beds at Valkenberg Hospital, he was only sent for mental evaluation a year later in August 2023.

During the pre-trial matter of Parliament arson suspect Zandile Mafe, the court was told Valkenberg could only accommodate 10 assessments a month and that more than 100 people were on the waiting list.

The evaluation made by a team of psychiatrists at Valkenberg was received by the Western Cape high court on Thursday. Because the report’s outcome is not yet a public document, the contents cannot be made public at this time.

Clarifying this point, regional Western Cape National Prosecutor spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said: “The court received the report but has no right to release it or its contents. Only the court that has jurisdiction is the court that will conduct the trial and the report will then become a public document.”

This matter was postponed to 24 October for the murder accused to appoint a lawyer to represent him.

Curtley Adam

Curtley Adam, 10, (right) was friends with murdered Jerobejin van Wyk. He said he is going to miss the times they played together. (Photo: Joyrene Kramer)

Valkenberg capacity delaying cases

While this process provides relief for the parents of murdered van Wyk — Triesa van Wyk his mother and stepfather John Willemse — the same cannot be said for Magrietta Carolus (76), the mother of murdered Geret Carolus.

He, Liami Frankshwa Eckelton, and Constable Donay Delano Phillips were slain in a shooting at the New Somerset Hospital on 7 May 2022. Triple murder accused Jean-Paul Malgas, a former police officer, is charged with three counts of murder and possessing a dangerous weapon.

On the day a scuffle broke out between the murder accused and Phillips. The police were disarmed and shot by the accused. Malgas then is said to proceed to a ward where he allegedly shot Geret Carolus and Eckelton. Both died on the scene, while the police officer succumbed to his injuries the following morning.

In May this year, Malgas’ legal team applied for him to be referred to Valkenberg to undergo psychiatric assessment.

In July this year, the court heard that Malgas was first on the waiting list and would get a bed at the hospital to undergo a 30-day observation. However, the assessment report has not yet been handed to the Western Cape high court.

Carolus on Friday said that she is tired of waiting for the case to go to trial, complaining that the process was too long.

“I’m turning 77 years old in December. Anything can happen to me. Before I die, I want the person responsible for my son’s death and the deaths of the other two persons in Somerset Hospital to be convicted and sentenced.

“Waiting for the trial to begin is interfering with my sleep, and I wake up frequently in the early hours of the morning. I’m worried that I could die without knowing if the murder accused has been sentenced,” she said. DM


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