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Policeman Appears In Court For The Murder Of His Girlfriend

Residents of Piketberg demonstrated as a police officer appeared in court on a murder charge.

On Sunday night, the officer is accused of shooting his girlfriend, Natasha Booise.

On the same day as the shooting, he surrendered to police.

Sergeant Richard Smit was charged with murder after allegedly opening fire on his girlfriend, Natasha Booise, in Piketberg, shooting her in front of her 10-year-old son and the rest of her family.

After Smit made a brief appearance in court, the case was rescheduled for Friday.

Billy Claasen, executive director of the Rural and Farmworkers Development Organization, said the incident had left the community in shock.

Locals gathered at the court to protest the accused, he said.

Claasen said the community was pushing for bail to be denied because police officers in small rural towns believed they were "law unto themselves."

We recognize that this is a high-profile case, and we urge the State to oppose bail. This is also a case of gender-based violence and a serious crime. We cannot let people like him loose in our communities. He poses a threat to our communities. He was supposed to be a beacon of hope for troubled communities, as well as someone who would protect our women and children," Claasen explained.

Claasen confirmed that the couple had been in a relationship, but that it had been a difficult one.

On Sunday evening, Booise was walking down Main Road with friends and family members when the accused pulled up in his personal vehicle.

While the accused was sitting in the car, Booise went to speak with him. She could be seen holding his hand. He was accused of cocking his service pistol at her and firing multiple shots while they were conversing.

Booise was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accused later surrendered to police and was taken into custody.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), a police watchdog, was also looking into the matter.

According to IPID spokesperson Grace Langa, Booise would have turned 36 on Tuesday.

Classen went on to say that the community planned to file a petition with the National Prosecution Authority, police, and the magistrate.

"The people of Piketberg and the surrounding towns are outraged. They came to court in large numbers to show their support for Natasha Booise's family. On Friday, we will march to court once more "He continued.

Sources: news24

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Billy Claasen Natasha Booise Piketberg Richard Smit Rural and Farmworkers Development Organization


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