Farm heavy with silence

2013-03-19 00:00

GRIEKWASTAD — The deafening silence in the Naauwhoek farmyard yesterday probably replicated the moments, nearly a year ago, immediately after several gunshots shattered the evening silence.

After the death of Deon, Christel and Marthella Steenkamp, the farm fell silent. The silence still hangs heavily over everything.

The fertile farm with its beautiful garden stands in sharp contrast to the scenes of a year ago.

No longer is there a farmer tending his stock here, a mother preparing “boerekos” for her family and baking cookies, or a teenage girl with big dreams of becoming an actress one day. Only empty rooms where once there was life.

The bullet holes of the tragedy of April 6 can still be seen in the walls of the TV room and the shed, as became evident during the site visit by the Northern Cape High Court yesterday.

Judge President Frans Kgomo, advocates Hannes Cloete and Quinton Hollander, for the state, and advocates Willem Coetzee and Sharon Erasmus, for the defence, visited Naauwhoek to try to form a picture of the crime scene.

The accused, a minor, was present. He is charged with the rape and murder of Marthella, the murder of the Steenkamp couple and obstruction of justice.

One bullet hole can be seen in the prefabricated wall of the TV room where Marthella’s body lay next to her mother’s on the floor.

The shooter, with Deon behind him, may have shot at someone in the TV room and missed. That bullet appears to have traveled to the shed, struck the ground and ricochetted, hitting the wall of the shed.

The shed is visible from the window of the TV room.

The sun shone brightly through the curtains of Marthella’s room, where, a year ago, the teenager was still reading her Bible and playing with teddy bears and her cellphone on the bed.

The safe which held the firearms still stands in the main bedroom.

The proceedings were led by Cloete, who pointed to aspects of the scene. While the scene in the kitchen and TV room was being discussed, the accused hung his head and stared at the floor.

There is a dispute between the state and the defence about where the blood-covered stones lay at the tree between the house and the shed.

The places where three glasses lay were also pointed out.

Cloete argued that the house and kitchen can be clearly observed from the two windows of the shed.

Coetzee disagreed, saying that the welding marks on one of the windows obstructed the view. In the shed the accused stroked the disused red Massey Ferguson tractor.

The legal teams then proceeded to the farmworkers’ houses and outside toilets, the entrance to a neighbouring farm and then back past the place where the abandoned bakkie of Jan Koopman, a farmworker, was found.

The legal teams also went to the police station in the town.

The trial will continue today when Judge Kgomo will read his comments on the record.

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

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.