Griekwastad boy pleads not guilty

2013-03-11 11:35
The Steenkamp farm in Naauwhoek, Northern Cape. (Emile Hendricks, Volksblad)

The Steenkamp farm in Naauwhoek, Northern Cape. (Emile Hendricks, Volksblad)

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Kimberley - A 16-year-old boy accused of murdering the Steenkamp family on their farm pleaded not guilty to three murder charges in the Northern Cape High Court on Monday.

Prosecutor Hannes Cloete put five charges to the boy one by one.

The boy pleaded not guilty to all. They include a charge of rape and one of defeating the ends of justice.

The State confirmed that a Child Court was in session, which was confirmed by the boy's lawyer, Willem Coetzee. He submitted there was no plea explanation.

Earlier, Judge President Frans Kgomo allowed journalists from Media 24, Independent Newspapers, Central Media Group, SABC, and Sapa to be in court during the proceedings.

Cases involving minors are usually held in camera. The boy may not be identified.

The teenager was arrested for the murders of Northern Cape farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christelle, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14. They were shot on their farm Naauwhoek, near Griekwastad, on 6 April 2012.

Rape charge

According to Sunday's Rapport newspaper the boy will also face a charge of raping Marthella. In addition he will face a charge of defeating the ends of justice for allegedly misleading police by making a false statement.

It was first reported that on the day of the murders the boy was in an outside storeroom when he heard shots. He is said to have explained at the time that he discovered the bodies in the living room of the main house before driving to the police station in town to report the crimes. Police said he handed over two firearms which he had found at the scene.

Suspicion later turned to the boy and he was arrested.

The case was last before court in November last year, when the National Prosecuting Authority's appeal against the teenager's having been granted bail was dismissed.

The boy had been living with a guardian since he was released on R5 000 bail in September.

Read more on:    kimberley  |  griekwastad murders

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