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Kimberley - Lieutenant Andre McAnda from the SAPS Crime Scene Investigation Unit apologised to the family of the deceased, the prosecution, defence and the court for a typing error on a forensic report that captured an incorrect number on one of the exhibits.
He was testifying in the Northern Cape High Court, during the triple murder trial of the Steenkamp family on the farm Naauwhoek, near Griquatown, where Deon, 44, Christel, 43 and Marthella Steenkamp, 14 were shot and beaten to death.
A 16 year old accused has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
During cross examination defence lawyer Advocate Willem Coetzee, pointed out that the police investigation was riddled with errors.
He stated that the mix up of the serial numbers that were labelled on the forensic bags, meant that incorrect exhibits were recorded and referenced.
“If evidence is not dealt with properly it can cast doubt on the accuracy of the investigation,” Coetzee said.
McAnda explained that it was an honest mistake and that in any field of expertise, there was always a “margin of error”.
The evidence that he had collected including a blue T-shirt, a jacket, fire cartridges, a telescope, a long rifle, a telescope, as well as blood samples, a toxicology report and sexual assault kit that were sent from the mortuary, that he packaged and dispatched for forensic, scientific and ballistic testing.
McAnda stated that on the night of the murder, he had taken instructions from the crime scene manager Colonel Dick de Waal.
“He informed me that I had to investigate a farm attack. By the time I arrived at the Griquatown police station, there were a number of people including police officials as well as SAPS and private in the street. I parked my vehicle that I was driving in the street and waited outside the station as I was under the impression that we would be departing for the farm shortly.”
He said De Waal instead, called him inside the station commissioner’s office at the Griquatown police station where he was requested to take photos of and perform a presumptive test on the accused, in the presence of his guardian.
“I also took photographs of injuries on left side of the accused’s neck and scratch marks on his legs. He wore shorts black, was barefoot and bare-chested.”
He added that the witness (the accused) was requested to remove his pants and hand it in as evidence.
“I do not know at what stage he removed his running shoes and socks.”
McAnda also took a sample of a blood smear or presumable transfer mark from the accused.
“I wouldn’t have taken a sample as he had a reasonable explanation as to how it got there when he assisted Marthella by trying to stop the blood. At that stage he was a witness and I had no reason to suspect any dishonesty. However upon instruction I complied and had the integrity of the investigation at heart.”
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