Griekwastad murderer described as a ‘charming manipulator’

2014-05-15 00:00

KIMBERLEY — The teenaged Griekwastad triple murderer is a charming manipulator. He even influenced several professionals into drawing up reports in his favour.

This was the argument yesterday of prosecutor Hannes Cloete at the pre-sentencing hearing of the 17-year-old.

The teen was found guilty in March on three charges of murder, one of rape and one of defeating the ends of justice. Deon Steenkamp (44), his wife Christel (43) and their daughter, Marthella (14) were shot on their farm on Good Friday 2012. Marthella was also raped.

Cloete said he would offer evidence about the minor’s personality type.

He also referred to a psychiatric evaluation done in March 2013. Three social workers and correctional service staff who had also interviewed the accused and the parties involved, all agreed that imprisonment was the most suitable sentence for the teenager.

Cloete said the accused had mentioned aspects in the reports that were held against him in court, such as his lack of tears and his knowledge about the amount of money in the family safe. He said in the reports he was a virgin and the Steenkamps had been a happy family.

Cloete said it is possible for someone to maintain a front about his so-called rehabilitation. He also said the minor had even manipulated Dr Eon Sonnekus, a criminologist for the defence. Sonnekus just smiled at Cloete’s claim.

Cloete said the accused claimed men don’t cry, but in Griekwastad men cried like babies when they learnt about the Steenkamp family’s murders.

Social worker Karen van Wyk said the accused maintained he is innocent and that he had no reason to murder and rape. He said he was raised that “men don’t cry” and that was why he did not show his emotions. He told Van Wyk he cried at night when he remembered how the murdered family’s bodies had looked.

The teenager refused to answer questions on the murders upon instruction from his legal team and his guardian, because they were worried he would incriminate himself.

The minor had assured corrections officer Catherina Klaaste that he posed no danger, even closing her office door so they were alone in the room.

Klaaste said rehabilitation would not be possible unless the crime was better understood. She was the only person who could speak to the teenager about the murders before his legal counsel silenced him. He co-operated well, but prison warders later said he acted arrogantly.

The boy said he felt bad when people looked at him as if he is a monster. He now thinks he should have acted differently on the evening of the murders.

The director of the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (Nicro) in the Free State and Northern Cape, Marita Kraayenburg, said the Steenkamps would have been proud of the consistent reports of a healthy family.

Marianna Smith and Elbeth Vermaak, Deon Steenkamp’s sisters, told the court they would let the boy work on two farms if he continued his studies; and they would pay for psychiatric treatment.

The hearing continues tomorrow.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.