Griquatown -A Griquatown man recalled on Tuesday how news of a triple murder in the area was broken to him during a family gathering on his farm.
Farmer Joachim Scholtz testified that the gathering of about 40 family members were about to light braai fires when his wife said there was an urgent phone call.
The call was from a businessman in town about a farm attack on the Steenkamp farm.
The court was hearing evidence in the triple murder trial of a 16-year-old youth.
He is accused of killing farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14, on the farm Naauwhoek, on April 6.
Scholtz said in his testimony-in-chief that he grabbed his cellphone and first called Deon Steenkamp's number.
He then tried Christel's cell number but both were not answering.
Scholtz told the court he then grabbed a torch and drove to the Naauwhoek farm, which was 22km from his farm, on the opposite side of Griquatown.
At the farm he asked policemen on the scene if there were any survivors, but they did not know.
Asking permission, he and a policeman entered the house to check whether there were survivors, and found Deon, Christel and Marthella, already dead.
He was requested later by the police to enter the house again to inspect the safe in the main bedroom where he found several firearms.
Scholtz also testified that at some stage outside the house he heard the dogs and went to investigate. Halfway between the house and the shed he found them licking blood covered stones.
He told the court he covered the spots with 20 litre buckets after removing the dogs.
The trial continues. - Sapa