After reaching headlines due to a murder of a 13-year-old boy, Daniel Smit confessed to murdering the boy via his lawyer, Santie Human. However, Smit has yet to make a formal confession.
As the small town of Klawer still awaits the DNA tests results to determine the identity of the human body parts found on Smit’s property, thoughts around the case have been brought up.
The Klawer man didn’t want people to think the murder was due to race
According to legal experts, Human’s actions were not procedural and may even compromise the case. Normally, it is not the lawyer’s place to reveal so much of their client to the media.
Human was the one who revealed that Smit admitted to killing the minor as well as that he used to be part of the occult and has killed before.
However, Human said that Smit wanted her to “explain” his actions as he wants a clear conscience. And as the town’s folk protested and threatened to burn down his house, Smit wanted to “save the quiet town from burning” and that is why he confessed.
She said: “Reports suggested that he was a farmer because of the word ‘boer’, but here a boer is a white man, and he also didn’t want it to turn into a racial issue. So he came out with the truth, that he belonged to an occult (group) and it drove him to do what he did.”
“He’s not trying to get out of it, he just wants to make it more understandable. He wants people to know that it’s not racism and also wants to clear his conscience.
“He confessed to me about the occult, and also mentioned that it no longer exists because the last member of that occult died in 2009.
“But, he wasn’t going to let the town burn down and that is why he chose to tell them why he did it, he saved the town by doing so,” she said.
Daniel Smit has yet to make a formal confession
After Human informed the media that her client confessed and opened up about being part of an occult group, a legal source close to the case explained that this could be a ploy that could “jeopardise” the case.
“No formal confession was made. For a confession to stand in court, it has to be made in front of a magistrate or a commissioned officer.
“Secondly, when he appeared in court and his rights were read out to him, he didn’t plead, he decided to remain silent.
“Thirdly, there’s the rule of privilege between a client and his or her lawyer. This means that things that are said to the lawyer are said in confidence,” the source said.
The source added that Smit could now claim that he “wasn’t treated fairly” because of all the information already known.
“In layman’s terms, it means that Smit could at any stage turn around and say he wants to go for observation because he didn’t know what he was doing and that he wasn’t treated fairly in a trial because of all the things already put out there.
“The accused should be treated as innocent until a competent court finds him guilty.”
The Klawer case likely to see the High Court
According to the legal source, the case will most likely be transferred to the High Court, and here, the judge will only consider the law.
“Here the judge will only consider the law, so even if it was an occult murder, the law will be above it. The factor of the occult will only be taken into consideration as an aggravating circumstance.
“In my opinion, it will make the sentence harsher, but until then there is nothing concrete that speaks of an occult, and therefore I believe it’s purely racial.”
Advocate Gilbert Jose also agreed that it was “unusual” for any lawyer to share so much information so prematurely.
“By law, you are not even supposed to do it, you are supposed to keep your client’s information close to your chest because at the end of the day your client can turn around and say he didn’t say anything like that, and that will impact his position as to a fair trial.
“There could be the possibility of an acquittal,” Jose said.
Human has further said that her client plans on pleading guilty in the case and she has arranged for a spiritual leader to visit Smit.