Seen here is the farmhouse at Naauwhoek. Picture: Lizéll Muller

The boy accused of killing three members of the Steenkamp family, initially told his local church minister, Pieter Otto, that the killer could have been a person who had visited the farm regarding a financial transaction. An argument apparently broke out at the time.

Otto, testifying in the Northern Cape High Court yesterday (Tuesday), however stated that this theory was later dismissed as they both knew that this person was not capable of such an act.

He added that the accused admitted that he should not have handled the weapons that he had found near the farm gate as his fingerprints would be on the firearms that he picked up and took to the police station.

Otto added that the boy had not gone into much detail after the murder ... only saying that the Steenkamp family had been shot.

“He said Marthella, 14, was still alive and that he thought that she tried to call for help and tried to use the landline telephone.

“I assume it was traumatic for him to touch Marthella’s blood, which is when he pushed her away. It is strange, yet understandable.

“He hid in the shed when he heard the gunshots and waited until the coast was clear. He thought that someone had fled after the shooting and went to warn the farm workers.”

Otto said the boy was very emotional ... at one stage, he sat on his haunches with his head cradled in his hands.

He added that there were wild, unsubstantiated rumours flying around regarding the reasons and circumstances regarding the Steenkamp murders.

“I told the community that it was not the time to spread rumours, but to wait patiently until the police and court case was over.”

Otto described the boy as having a strong spiritual religion.

He recalled an incident where he disagreed with his father, who wanted him to have a solid education, while he wanted to work on the farm.

“His father told him that farming had many challenges and responsibilities. There were no angry words, just a difference in opinion.”

General dealer Abraham de Villiers also tried to console the boy that night.

“I gave him a hug but he did not respond and seemed stressed because he was pacing up and down and was texting on his cellphone the whole time. He told me what happened in short sentences.”

He said the accused explained to him that he had gone into the shed after putting a knife away and was afraid when he heard six shots.

“He found the bodies inside the house and his shirt became smeared with blood while trying to assist Marthella.”

Legal representative for the accused, Advocate Willem Coetzee, stated that his client denied that he found Marthella lying on the floor.

The case continues today at 10am in the Northern Cape High Court.

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