Seen here is the farm where the murder of the Steenkamp family occured. Picture: Johnnie van Niekerk

Johannesburg - A 16-year-old boy charged with a triple murder in Griquatown appears in the Northern Cape High Court on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Griquatown farmer Joachim Scholtz told the court he was at a family gathering on his farm when a businessman in town phoned to tell him about the murders.

The 16-year-old is accused of killing farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14, on the farm Naauwhoek, on April 6 2012.

Scholtz told the court he grabbed his cellphone and called first Deon Steenkamp's number, then Christel's, but both went unanswered.

He then took a torch and drove to the Naauwhoek farm, which was 22km from his farm, on the opposite side of Griquatown.

At the farm he asked policemen on the scene if there were any survivors, but they did not know.

After asking permission, he and a policeman entered the house to check whether there were survivors, and found Deon, Christel and Marthella, already dead.

Scholtz testified that security cameras yielded no evidence of the murders.

A camera erected between the Steenkamp farm and Griquatown was not active because it was being moved.

He said a local farm organisation had been in discussion with Deon Steenkamp about finding a place to install the camera near his farm.

Scholtz said he knew the Steenkamp family well. He and Deon Steenkamp had grown up together. He had known Christel since her marriage to Deon, and he had known Marthella from birth.

Scholtz confirmed during cross-examination that he and three other people went to clean the house on Saturday, April 7, the day after the murders.

He said a blood-stained carpet, which was under Marthella's body, and Deon's green Jeep jacket, had been burned because of the amount of blood on them.

Scholtz said he checked with police investigators before destroying the two items.

State witness Henriette Truter, the manager of a restaurant across the street from the Griquatown police station, also testified.

Truter told the court she was drinking coffee on the verandah at around 6pm on the night of the murders.

There was no one in the restaurant when a white bakkie stopped in front of the police station and a boy got out and ran inside.

The boy shouted that there had been a shooting and that police should come. - Sapa