Griquatown killer cries, granny tells court

Copy of DF steenk 0406 C DFA The 17-year-old Griquatown killer coming up from the holding cells in the Kimberley High Court. File picture: Danie Van der Lith

 

Kimberley - The young Griquatown killer does show emotion, but not in front of others, the Northern Cape High Court heard on Friday.

“He does experience emotions, but people differ,” the 17-year-old boy's grandmother told the court. She cannot be named to protect his identity as he is a minor.

She was being questioned by Riaan Bode, for the boy, during arguments in mitigation of sentencing.

“You would not see me easily in tears, others, you give them a look and they burst out in tears.”

She told the court the boy cried, but not in front of others.

On March 27, the court found the boy guilty of the murders of Griquatown farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and their daughter Marthella, 14. They were shot dead on their farm Naauwhoek on April 6, 2012.

The boy was also found guilty of raping the girl and lying to the police.

Reading out a prepared letter to Judge Frans Kgomo, she said: “Everyone wants the truth of what happened that day. We want closure.”

Emotions around the event ran deep and it was difficult to find the right words for it.

“My salvation is with me. My road I must walk alone,” she told Kgomo.

After listening to expert evidence she said she still believed the boy was innocent and that the tragedy was due to him suffering a major lapse in character.

“I plead with the court that he gets the needed treatment to be able to rejoin society later.”

Asked by Bode if she would ever pardon the boy, she said one should not use the word forgiveness lightly.

“I believe forgiveness is possible in this process, but it will be a painful process. One will have to have a profound discussion with oneself to get direction. Time will tell.”

The State did not cross-examine her and Bode concluded his evidence in mitigation.

The matter continues. - Sapa



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