Teen’s defence team asks for postponement

IOL pic aug 14 justice scales gavel nu Independent Newspapers Three customary wives have taken their tussle over the body and burial of their dead husband to a Pretoria court.

Northern Cape - The defence team of a triple-murder accused teenage boy asked the Griekwastad Children's Court for a postponement in his bail application on Friday.

The matter resumed with the State expected to lead evidence from the case investigator in opposing bail.

Defense counsel Willem Coetzee asked the court for a postponement after the State handed him a bundle of documents which included a 22-page affidavit, photo albums and expert reports.

“It largely [involves] aspects concerning the merits of the matter.”

Coetzee told Magistrate OS Mazwi he was not properly prepared to proceed after only receiving the documents on Friday morning.

He asked for a postponement to Monday to study the State's evidence. He said if he was forced to continue, his client would be severely prejudiced.

State prosecutor Hannes Cloete said he had no problem if the defence wanted time to prepare but a postponement to Monday was not necessary.

He submitted that the defence could also not be aware what evidence would be led, and argued that evidence first be led before an argument on postponement could be considered.

In reply, Coetzee said he was only asking the court for an opportunity to prepare properly.

He said the evidence about to be led included intricate reports from experts.

“What use would it be to sit and listen to evidence without knowing what evidence might be inadmissible or not in order for him (the boy) to not be prejudiced.”

Magistrate Mazwi adjourned the sitting for an hour for Coetzee to study the documents in an effort to ascertain if a postponement to Monday was possible.

“It would give you time to sort out if the matter could proceed or not,” the magistrate said.

Northern Cape farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christelle, 43, and their daughter Marthella, 14, were shot dead on their farm Naauwhoek on April 6.

At the time, police said a teenage boy was busy in an outside storeroom when he heard shots fired at 6.30pm that day.

The State is attempting to prove three murder charges against the boy. - Sapa

* Comments have been closed on this story to protect the identity of the minor in the case.


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