No stranger in Steenkamp house

By Drum Digital
27 March 2014

There was no unknown attacker on the Griekwastad farm the night of the triple Steenkamp murders: NCape Judge President Frans Kgomo

There was no unknown attacker on the Griekwastad farm the night of the triple Steenkamp murders, Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo found on Thursday.

"There is no possibility a lone ranger could have entered the house unnoticed. The dogs would have barked," Kgomo said.

Delivering judgment in the trial of a 17-year-old boy, who stands accused of killing Northern Cape farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christelle, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14. They were shot dead on their farm Naauwhoek, near Griekwastad, on April 6, 2012.

The teenager also faces a charge of raping Marthella and defeating the ends of justice. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Explaining his findings, Kgomo said if the evidence was to be believed the alleged "lone ranger" went to the farm unarmed, evaded the family relaxing in an open area of the house to reach the murder weapons in a back bedroom.

"Why would an attacker bent on murder sneak into the house?"

Kgomo said the attacker then killed the three Steenkamps with their own firearms. For no reason at all, the attacker took a hunting knife from the safe, leaving the safe's keys, other firearms and ammunition, and about R32,000 and several wallets containing cash.

Kgomo said this stolen knife must have been studded with diamonds for the farm attacker to have left all the firearms in the safe. These were rich pickings for farm attackers, he said.

Kgomo said this attacker then walked away from the murder scene leaving vehicles, with their keys in the ignitions, in the barn.

"They were there for the taking."

Kgomo said the attacker then dropped the murder weapons 50 metres from the house in the grass beside the road.

"If this was true it was the dumbest farm attacker in South Africa," Kgomo said.

It escaped him how such an intruder could have stayed in the house for about 45 minutes without the Steenkamps noticing, before the shooting started.

Referring to the boy's testimony that he was in the barn during the murders, Kgomo said this fact was important for the boy. He said if the boy was not in the barn he would have been in the house when the family was killed. He would have seen the attacker.

Otherwise he was in cahoots with the attacker or he pulled the trigger of the "smoking guns" that killed the family.

Judgment is continuing.

-by Sapa

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