Teen implicated himself in murders’

THE teen accused of gunning down a Griekwastad family allegedly implicated himself in the murder spree.

This is what the Kimberley High Court heard yesterday in the triple murder of the Steenkamp family, who were shot on their farm two years ago.

Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and their daughter Marthella, 14, were shot and killed on their Naauwhoek farm near Griekwastad on the evening of Good Friday, April 6 2012.

The 17-year-old is facing three counts of murder, a charge relating to the rape of Marthella, as well as a charge of defeating the ends of justice. Yesterday, prosecutor Hannes Cloete told the court the boy was initially not a suspect but had later implicated himself.

“Long before the police treated him as a suspect, he implicated himself as a suspect and his family treated him as a suspect. The people who knew him said there was a problem,” Cloete said.

Riaan Bode, the teen’s recently appointed new lawyer, tried to convince the court that, based on the state’s expert witnesses, there was no certainty the girl had been raped.

He suggested the bruising on her genitals could have been self-inflicted.

Last year Dr Lemaine Fouche and Dr Frederick Els testified on the extent of the girl’s injuries, and that the bruising indicated sexual penetration.

The court heard that, apart from the family being “cold-bloodedly” shot, the girl was also tortured and appeared to be the focal point of the attack.

The state has alleged that the rape was the motive for the killing. Marthella was shot and assaulted with a gun and had defensive wounds on her arms as if she had been fighting. Bode also tried to convince the court the brutal killings were committed by an intruder, and not his client.

Cloete called his argument “opportunistic”. Judge Frans Kgomo also rubbished this claim and told Bode not to base his arguments on speculation but on evidence.

Kgomo then questioned how an intruder could have gone unnoticed in the Steenkamp’s open-plan home, describing the argument as being “in the realm of speculation”.

As the court was shown gruesome pictures from the crime scene, the accused hung his head in the dock, occasionally fidgeting and playing with his hair, as his lawyer tried to convince the court of his innocence.

Bode later changed his approach and said that if the crime was premeditated, then his client would not have handed over incriminating evidence to the police. Judgment is due tomorrow. – Leonie Wagner

 

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