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Griquatown murder scene was ‘unusual’

Crime & Courts

Kimberley - The scene of a triple murder on the farm Naauwhoek near Griekwastad last year was unusual, the Northern Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

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State prosecutor, Advocate Hannes Cloete, with members of the media in the background. Picture: Lizéll Muller

House breaking, robbery and farm attack scenes were usually left in chaos, investigator Colonel Dick de Waal told Judge Frans Kgomo.

There were no signs of forced entry at the farmhouse. Usually the victims were tied up and there would be signs of a struggle, with furniture knocked over.

De Waal was giving evidence in the triple murder trial of a 16-year-old boy. Northern Cape farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14, were shot dead on the farm Naauwhoek, on April 6, 2012.

De Waal said at these kind of crime scenes the inhabitants' belongings, such as clothes and personal items, would have been thrown from cupboards and drawers. In this case only one or two drawers were found open.

De Waal told the court no luxury items were stolen, except for allegations of some money and a knife from one of the victims. Six cellphones, usually a popular item taken during robberies and farm attacks, were found in the house.

Prosecutor Hannes Cloete meticulously took De Waal through evidence indicating the firearm safe was found open, with firearms and ammunition still inside it.

Electrical equipment such as computers, laptops and radios were left undisturbed in the farm house. The land line had not been destroyed, the television was still on, and the DVD player and DSTV decoder were untouched. The family was apparently watching the television show Vetkoekpaleis on the night of the murders.

Three wallets were found in the house, with about R4000 in one of them, De Waal testified.

The investigator testified that getting firearms was usually the motive behind farm attacks. In this case, firearms were left in the safe and the murder weapons were found outside the house.

“It was extremely odd to find the two firearms so close to the house.”

De Waal said a .357 revolver and a .22 rifle, which were found outside the house, were the weapons used to kill the Steenkamps. They were linked positively with empty cartridges found with the firearms and on the scene in the house.

De Waal told Judge Kgomo he investigated the possibility of some sort of revenge attack on the Steenkamps.

“We could not find any evidence of a revenge attack. They were dear members of the community and people praised them.”

The court also heard that the gunpowder residue test conducted on the boy's hands was negative, while tests done on two shirts were positive.

The trial continues. - Sapa

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