Guilty Griquatown teen shows no emotion

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iol news pic DF Griquatown closing arguments

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The lawyer for the 17-year-old Griquatown triple murder accused, Riaan Bode, at the Kimberley High Court. Picture: Danie Van der Lith

Kimberley - There were no tears or any display of emotion, as the 17-year-old accused heard the words “guilty” on all the charges against him.

The teenager was found guilty of the cold-blooded murders of Deon, 44, Christel, 43 and Marthella, 14, Steenkamp as well as the rape of Marthella and defeating the ends of justice in the Northern Cape High Court on Thursday.

Their bloodstained bodies were found on with multiple bullet wounds to the head and body on Naauwhoek near Griquatown on April 6, 2012.

Northern Cape High Court Judge President Frans Kgomo believed not only that Marthella was raped but that it was not the first time that she was a victim of sexual abuse.

Kgomo described the injuries sustained by Marthella as gruesome and found the accused as being a poor witness who had never flinched during the trial even when he was cornered.

He attributed his need to silence her as well as her parents, as being the most plausible explanation for what sparked the terrible chain of reaction of events that followed.

“In my view the minor, the torturer wanted to have sexual intercourse with the girl. When she refused, she was consequently tortured, raped and murdered, to prevent her from reporting it. Her parents who would bear witness to the rape, had to be eliminated.”

He doubted whether Marthella would have declared her love for the accused before she died, as the accused had suggested, given the violent nature of her death.

“The rape took place during the school holidays where the innocent teenage girl and the minor spent time on the farm from April 2-6 where no friends had visited during that time.”

Kgomo accepted that the accused and Marthella had rode horses “away from the glare and stares” of Deon and Christel while the accused had admitted to being in the vicinity when the fatal shots were fired.

“During his efforts to piece together what really happened, to enable him to track down perpetrators, the investigating officer Colonel Dick de Waal, asked the minor, in the presence of his guardian, to explain the scratch marks on his neck. He reported that he had fought with Marthella that afternoon but claimed that he could not remember what the fight was about.”

He was not convinced that the accused had suffered a loss of memory and should have been fresh in his mind, as the fight had taken place earlier that afternoon.

“The minor was unable to explain why his own blood had appeared on his pants. He explained that he suffered a bloody nose as he had not sustained any cuts or wounds that day.”

Kgomo stated that the accused sent the police on a wild goose chase after claiming that the Steenkamp family were victims of a farm murder.

“By providing false information, the police machinery kicked into gear and the big guns were mobilised when he purported the events to be a farm murder.”

State advocate Hannes Cloete stated that the bail of the accused automatically expired after he was found guilty.

Legal representative for the accused Riaan Bode requested that bail be extended given the tender age of the accused and to allow for the finalisation of pre-sentencing reports including a psychologists report and victim impact studies.

He estimated that it would take six weeks to complete but believed that given the seriousness of the charges, he would try to speed up the process.

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