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Kimberley - The 16-year-old boy, accused of murdering the Steenkamp family on their farm Naauwhoek outside Griquatown, pleaded not guilty to the five charges he is facing. The trial got underway in the Northern Cape High Court yesterday.
Dressed in a lime green shirt and jeans, he steadfastly denied his involvement in the murders of Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and daughter, 14-year-old Marthella.
He also denied that he raped Marthella and defeating the ends of justice by misleading the police when he submitted false statements.
A small group of supporters and family members spoke to and hugged the teenager during breaks in the trial.
Several family members left the courtroom when Northern Cape High Court Judge President Frans Kgomo advised them that the graphic images that were submitted as evidence, could be disturbing.
The accused sat pensively with his hands under his chin while images of blood spattered walls as well as the bodies of the victims were shown on a screen in the court.
Deon was seen lying face down while a bullet cartridge was found on his back. There were blood stains on the floor where his head was positioned.
The living room was identified as the main crime scene where the murders were committed.
Head of the Crime Scene Unit from Pretoria, Lieutenant Colonel Sietze Albertse, said a blood smear showed that Deon was lying still when he was dragged a short distance on the ground.
Another photograph showed the blood soaked body of a female victim, lying on her side.
There were also images of a blue T-shirt that was found inside one of the bedrooms as well as a safe in the main bedroom.
Albertse said the latest technology was used to reconstruct the crime scene with the help of photographs that were taken of the murder scene as well as aerial shots.
“Specialised software and a camera that can take 360 degree images were used. The computer programme creates three dimensional images that can be scanned in a linear fashion.”
He added that it could manipulate light and contrast and zoom in on a specific image.
The programme was used to demonstrate a simulated tour of the various rooms in the house where the crime was committed.
Albertse visited the scene on August 28 2011, along with the investigating officer and the prosecutor.
Advocate Willem Coetzee, representing the accused, pointed out that the footage could have been tampered with.
He added that if images could be manipulated and superimposed on a reproduction of the crime scene model, certain evidence could also be manipulated.
“The crime scene experts only visited the scene four months after the crime was committed and evidence could have been contaminated or removed. Everything, including the furniture was removed when the crime scene experts arrived at the scene.”
Albertse stated that they provided technological support, depending on when a crime scene became available.
“The Local Crime Record Centre and local police take samples, lift evidence and send it away for forensic analysis in Pretoria. The reconstruction of the scene is based on forensic evidence and photographs.”
He added that a fingerprint that was found on the scene did not imply that someone was guilty.
“It means that that person was at the scene at the time of the crime.”
Albertse indicated that the furniture in the reconstruction of the crime scene gave an idea of the dimensions of the scene and were not an exact replica.
“Blood splatters, photographs and documentary evidence are lifted from the scene as soon as possible while many of our reconstructions are done a year or two later, based on the evidence provided. It is a specialist function
“While it is a case of the quicker the better, there are only a limited number of blood splatter specialists that can analyse the clothes and photos that are handed in.”
State Advocate Hannes Cloete from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions is appearing for the state.
The case continues today at 10 am.
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