Farmer tells of comforting Griquatown teen

IOL griquatown DF steenkamp 2208f DFA The farm where the Steenkamp family was killed. File photo: Johnnie van Niekerk

Kimberley - A Griekwastad farmer told the Northern Cape High Court on Wednesday he went to town to support a boy, not to get a story on a farm murder.

The court was hearing evidence in the triple murder trial of a 16-year-old boy. He stands accused of the murders of Northern Cape farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14. They were shot dead on the farm Naauwhoek on April 6, 2012.

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

“I can’t imagine if I had been in the same situation,” said farmer Samuel Ludwick.

He testified that he saw the boy crying. Ludwick told the court men in the area did not hug each other as a rule.

“I saw him cry, not hysterically… (the hug) was spontaneous and he sobbed on my shoulder.”

He was one of two witnesses the State called on Wednesday.

The second, Griekwastad business woman Henriette de Villiers, testified that she met Christel the day before the murders.

“She came to pick up cookies.”

She walked out of her shop with Christel to the bakkie where Deon and two workers were waiting. De Villiers, like most of the town’s residents who had testified, also saw Deon in church on Good Friday. Deon, a deacon at the Dutch Reformed Church, helped serve communion on the day.

De Villiers, who went to the restaurant on the night of April 6, after the murders, testified about what was said in discussions with the boy. She said he did not cry and was restless when she met him in the restaurant’s garden.

“He worked a lot on his cellphone.”

However, the boy’s defence counsel Willem Coetzee pointed out some discrepancies between her statement to police and her testimony in court. Some of it related to assumptions that were made after discussions with the teenager.

Christel Steenkamp's mother, Martie Massyn, 73, testified to discussions she had with her daughter before the murders. She testified to the relationships within the Steenkamp family.

She testified her daughter had a normal relationship with her family.

In her testimony-in-chief Massyn also talked about a discussion she had at the memorial service of the Steenkamps in Griekwastad.

In the discussion it was claimed that if farm attacks would happen in the Griekwastad district, the Steenkamps would be the first victims. The allegation was made by a third party.

The hearing adjourned to Monday. - Sapa



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