We don’t see him as a monster: guardian

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IOL DF griquatown DFA The 17-year-old convicted killer is seen here with family members in court. File picture: Danie van der Lith

Kimberley - The Griquatown murderer's guardian family will not abandon the boy, the Northern Cape High Court heard on Friday.

“Not one of us sees him as a monster,” the guardian's wife told the court. She may not be named to protect the minor's identity.

She was testifying in mitigation of sentence before Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo.

On March 27, the court found the boy guilty of the murders of Griquatown farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and their daughter Marthella, 14. They were shot dead on their farm Naauwhoek on April 6, 2012.

The boy was also found guilty on a charge of rape of the girl and lying to the police.

The woman told the court the family still believed the boy did not commit the crimes.

She described him as a late developer compared to her own sons.

“Various friends have visited while he was with us. Me, my daughter, were there and he behaved well.”

The woman told the court she knew the police had contacted various girls who had contact with the boy, as they played sport together.

“They could not find one single indication of bad behaviour towards girls. Those parents phoned us because they were exasperated at some of the questions.”

The woman explained to the court why she and her husband decided to be the boy's guardians.

“There was no mercy for the child from day one. How must a child act normal?” she asked.

Asked by Kgomo what she would do if the boy admitted to the murders in five years, she said: “If he tells me to my face, I will have to believe it. I would not hide my head in the ground.”

She said she would still support him.

“To the court it might not look so or in the media. He is a small boy. He cannot assert himself.”

For this reason they could not write him off.

Prosecutor Hannes Cloete called police psychiatrist Major Bronwynn Stollarz to testify in aggravation of sentencing after the defence concluded its arguments in mitigation.

She told the court the boy posed a risk to society as his crimes had involved manipulation and violence.

Stollarz said the boy should take part in a sex offenders' treatment programme in prison and attend regular psychotherapy.

The matter was postponed to 24 June for final sentencing argument.


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