Details of Griekwastad murders heard

IOL news aug 22 DF griekwastad 2108ee DFA Deon (44) and Christel (43) Steenkamp.

Kimberley - Gruesome details about the murder of a Griekwastad farmer and his family have emerged during the bail application of a 16-year-old boy arrested for the crime.

Police investigator Dirk de Waal testified as a State witness in opposing the bail application.

De Waal said farmer Deon Steenkamp was found with three gunshot wounds, one in the right shoulder, one behind the ear, and another in the chest.

His wife Christelle was shot in the shoulder, neck, and back. Their daughter Marthella was shot twice in the body and twice in the head.

De Waal told the court that experts concluded that a handgun was first used. The final shots came from a .22 rifle.

The autopsy determined that father and daughter had blunt injuries to the head.

Despite media rumours that no care was taken with the murder scene, experts handled it professionally, De Waal testified.

He said the crime scene was first video recorded. Police who entered the area were dressed in "scene-packs", special clothing used to prevent contamination of evidence.

De Waal said police investigated the murder holistically and excluded other potential scenarios, including a farm attack, revenge, or a murder-suicide.

The boy showed no emotion when he was arrested in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

“He was as he is today,” de Waal said, referring to the boy's calm demeanour in the dock.

While driving back to Kimberly after the boy's arrest, they heard news of the arrest on a radio news bulletin. In the rear-view mirror De Waal could see the boy smiling.

De Waal said he had absolute confidence in his evidence and the expert opinions he had received.

In support of the State's opposing the bail application, De Waal said it would be in the interests of justice for the boy to be kept in custody.

“These were gruesome, gruesome murders.”

While the evidence was being delivered, the boy sat with his elbows on his knees, listening attentively.

Deon Steenkamp, 44, Christelle, 43, and Marthella, 14, were shot dead on their farm Naauwhoek on April 6. At the time, police said a teenage boy was busy in an outside storeroom when he heard shots fired at 6.30pm that day.

He discovered the bodies in the living room and drove to the police station in town to report the killings and hand over two firearms which he said he found at the scene.

The State is attempting to prove three murder charges against the boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor. - Sapa



sign up