Griquatown murder trial could be re-opened


griquatown victims

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Deon Steenkamp, his wife Christel and their 14-year-old daughter Marthella were murdered on their Naauwhoek farm near Griquatown. Photo: Supplied

Kimberley - The 17-year-old accused in a Griquatown farm murder wants his trial in the Northern Cape High Court re-opened.

Riaan Bode, for the boy, told Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo on Tuesday the application did not rest on a contention that the previous legal team was incompetent.

The matter was postponed in December last year after the boy ended the mandate of his previous lawyers, Willem Coetzee and Sharon Erasmus, who had withdrawn from the case.

They had been instructed by attorney Stoffel de Jager.

Earlier, the boy's guardian indicated there were insurmountable differences between him and the legal team.

The application for a postponement was filed by Bode, the youth's new lawyer.

On Tuesday, Bode submitted the core of the State's case was the rape charge which was seen as the trigger for the murders.

Bode submitted that the defence would like to call an expert witness to give testimony in relation to the rape charge.

Prosecutor Hannes Cloete indicated that they would oppose the application.

The 17-year-old youth is accused of shooting dead farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and their daughter Marthella, 14, on April 6 2012. He faces an additional charge of raping Marthella and of lying to the police.

He has denied the charges, and has told the court someone else must have been in the Steenkamp house on the day of the murders.

However, the State has claimed his evidence was in the realm of the impossible. - Sapa


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