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‘I didn’t plan to murder her’: Killer cop in bid to avoid life term for shooting his girlfriend

Richard ‘Makka’ Smit, a former Piketberg police officer. File picture: Supplied

Richard ‘Makka’ Smit, a former Piketberg police officer. File picture: Supplied

Published Aug 29, 2023


Pressure is mounting on the former cop from Piketberg to come clean on whether or not he planned to murder his girlfriend, Natasha Lee-Grey Booise.

Richard "Makka" Smit returned to the dock at the Western Cape High Court on Monday, where proceedings were again held up as no judge had been assigned.

The State was set to lead evidence in an attempt to prove that he had intended to kill Natasha, 30.

Natasha Lee-Grey Booise. File picture: Supplied

The court was informed that only a few days would be needed for this, as he had already pleaded guilty to the murder but contested that it was premeditated.

Natasha was gunned down in front of her family on January 2, 2022, after allegedly being stalked by Smit, 37.

Her family revealed that he was angry that she had opted to spend the day with relatives from Paarl and not him.

Natasha’s murder sparked an uproar when it was revealed that Smit had shot her with his service pistol while off duty. CCTV footage of the shooting was subsequently shared on social media.

A screenshot of the shooting incident. Picture: Supplied

According to the indictment, he faces six charges, which include murder, assault, attempted murder, pointing a firearm, driving while drunk, and using his gun while under the influence of alcohol.

During proceedings, Judge Robert Henney postponed the case to September 14, when the court will clarify when the matter can be heard.

Tempers flared outside court as Natasha’s friends and family accused Smit of stalling proceedings to avoid a life sentence.

Family and friends outside Western Cape High Court. Picture: Mahira Duval/Daily Voice

Billy Claasen of the Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation said: "As a police officer, he knows the legal loopholes and just wants to avoid a life sentence.

"The fact is, he was supposed to be the protector of the community, of his girlfriend and her family, and he came to be a murderer.

"He accepted that he did the murder but wants to avoid a life sentence by saying it was not premeditated."

Aunt Erica Jackson, 45, said the family believes that the State will be able to prove that Smit went looking for Natasha in order to kill her.

"Why, if it was not premeditated, did he go look for her with a service pistol that he should be using [only] for work? He went hunting her with a firearm and planned the whole thing. He must vrek [die] and vrot [rot] in prison for what he has done," she added.

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