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Kimberley - Relatives of the victims of last year's Griquatown farm murders attended the trial of a 16-year-old boy in the Northern Cape High Court on Wednesday.
Eight relatives were in court on Wednesday, as was the boy's guardian.
The court is sitting in camera, as a Children's Court, because the accused is a minor. Only people allowed by the court may attend the proceedings.
The boy cut a lonely figure on Wednesday, sitting in a dock able to accommodate about 10 people, in the middle of the courtroom. The public gallery, with room for about 100 people, was empty.
Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo was hearing evidence in the murders of Northern Cape farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christelle, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14. They were killed on their farm Naauwhoek, near Griquatown, on April 6, 2012.
Since the beginning of the week, 10 journalists from various media houses had been covering the story. Local media were giving the case extensive coverage.
For the State there were two prosecutors, Hannes Cloete and Quiten Hollander. They sat in front of Kgomo, to the right of the courtroom.
Behind them were investigating officer Colonel Dick de Waal. He was flanked by two of the prosecution's administrative personnel.
The youth's defence team included two advocates, Willem Coetzee and Sharon Erasmus. Behind them was his attorney Stoffel de Jager, and his guardian.
Most of the proceedings since Monday had taken place in total silence, without the murmur from the public gallery normally heard during open court proceedings.
At times the only sounds to be heard were journalists and the prosecution typing on their laptops.
On Wednesday Cloete continued questioning the State's second witness in the trial, forensic investigator Lieutenant Andre McAnda. Court proceedings moved slowly as the evidence collected on the crime scene was read into the court record piece by piece.
Every single exhibit, most of them in little plastic bags with their own serial numbers, had to be read into the record.
On Tuesday a police album containing 140 photos of evidence was read into the record.
McAnda's forensic statements, containing all the exhibits and evidence, were also read into the record. Cloete asked McAnda to explain the forensic processes followed and how the evidence was handled.
McAnda's testimony-in-chief ended at tea time. Cross-examination of McAnda was expected to start after tea.
The State is expected to call more than 70 witnesses. The case has been set down until March 28. - Sapa