Neighbour tells of Good Friday horror
The security cameras outside the farm Naauwhoek were not working on the night that three members of the Steenkamp family were murdered near Griquatown.
Neighbouring farmer Joachim Scholtz from Kruisfontein farm and chairman of the Griquatown land safety and stock theft committee, said they would have installed a camera at Naauwhoek the Monday after Deon, 44, Christel, 43, and Marthella, 14, were murdered.
Testifying in the Northern Cape High Court yesterday, he said that while the camera was not connected, it was positioned on the motorised gate along with the battery, to make it appear as if it was working over the Easter weekend last year.
“Deon was the only person who knew about the arrangement with the cameras. We had an appointment to see him because there were concerns that the trees around the farm would interfere with the signal.”
Scholtz added that none of the other farmers in the area were able to provide any footage of the farm that night.
He described the Steenkamp family as sharing a close relationship with the accused, a 16-year-old minor as well as with his own children.
He stated that Deon, Christel and Marthella, as well as the accused, were well known to him.
He was called out to the murder scene on Good Friday while visiting with 40 family members after attending the Good Friday service at the local church.
“At first I didn’t want to answer the phone when I heard it ringing because we had just lit a fire and I had just welcomed our guests. My wife told me that it was urgent because there had been an attack and that they had there were possible victims at Deon and Christel’s farm.
“I immediately tried to call them but both Deon and Christel did not answer. I immediately jumped onto my bakkie and drove to the farm, about 22 kilometres from my farm. I was not armed.”
He added that about halfway to the farm, he noticed a bakkie that was abandoned along the side of the road, although he never stopped to investigate.
“I was focused on getting to the farm as quickly as possible. I was allowed to go inside the house in the presence of the police and noticed the blood splatters on the wall. By that time it was too late for medical help.”
Scholtz added that he saw firearms neatly packed away in a safe in the main bedroom that was left open with the keys still inside.
“I heard the dogs growling outside and walked outside to the shed where I found them licking blood. I took a plastic container and covered the area.
“I also walked around the house to see if there were no windows that were broken and saw some drinking glasses on the lawn.”
Scholtz assisted in carrying the bodies of the deceased out of the house and added that the police requested him to clean up the blood on April 7 2012.
He removed a blood-stained mat where Marthella was lying and Deon’s green Jeep jacket.
“It was full of blood and I took it to the police station to ask if (I) should wash (it), as it was emotional having to handle it. They said that they had enough photos of the items and that I could get rid of it. I took it to the farm and burnt it.”
He added that he had not seen the accused on Good Friday.
Scholtz recalled how he had a discussion with the accused in February this year where he had confided in him that he did not want to attend Grey College in Bloemfontein.
“I told him that he looked smart in his school uniform. He said that he preferred to be in Douglas or Kimberley because he wanted to be nearer to the farm.”
Scholtz advised him that it was a privilege that his parents were making sacrifices to enable him to attend such a prestigious school.
Diamond Fields Advertiser