Teen’s bail bid postponed


IOL news aug 22 DF griekwastad 2108ee

DFA

Deon (44) and Christel (43) Steenkamp.

Kimberley - The bail application of a 16-year-old boy in the Griekwastad Children’s Court was postponed on Friday.

Magistrate OS Maswi said he would make his ruling on September 3.

Willem Coetzee, for the boy, told the court the State had no direct evidence to link the boy to a Griekwastad farm murder.

The teenager was arrested for the murder of Northern Cape farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christelle, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14, who were shot on the family farm Naauwhoek on April 6.

“Nothing shows he committed the crimes. It's all circumstantial, even the DNA is circumstantial,” Coetzee contended.

He was cross-examining case investigator Colonel Dirk de Waal, who maintained the evidence was solid.

Coetzee said the State and De Waal had over-emphasised the brutality of the murders. He submitted that the investigator’s approach to the bail application had no foundation and that he was making assumptions “without grounds”.

He contended the boy was at least, as a child, entitled to bail. Coetzee said the investigator was biased, but that it was expected of a policeman to believe in his investigation. However, the assumptions he had made before the court were unfounded.

Prosecutor Hannes Cloete described the defence's witnesses in support of bail as subjective. The witnesses included the family supporting the boy, and his social worker.

Cloete submitted the State would go to trial with a strong case.

“Yes, it's circumstantial evidence, but sometimes circumstantial evidence is stronger than witnesses,” he said.

He submitted that a bail application was not about determining guilt or innocence, but whether the State had a prima facie case.

Cloete said the investigation was nearly completed and that an indictment and a trial date in the matter could be finalised with a month.

The boy would be kept at a facility in Kimberley until the bail ruling. - Sapa


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