‘Insensitive liar who did not help’

2013-11-20 00:00

KIMBERLEY — The accused in the Griekwastad murder trial was yesterday shown to be an insensitive liar who did not help the Steenkamps in their dying moments.

The boy (17) appeared a lot more tense yesterday compared to Monday, when he started his testimony.

He is accused of rape, defeating the ends of justice and the murders of Deon (44), Christel (43) and Marthella (14) Steenkamp, shot dead on their farm near Griekwastad.

Advocate Hannes Cloete, for the state, yesterday pointed out several changes in the boy’s testimony. Cloete said the boy was lying so much that it hurt him just to listen to it.

“You are lying in every aspect of your testimony. You are obviously adapting your story. It puts you in a bad light. You must be careful,” Cloete told the boy.

The boy appeared flustered and often answered “I don’t know” when his answers had painted him into another corner, and then just glared wordlessly at Cloete. During two of these uncomfortable silences Judge President Frans Kgomo had to order the boy to answer Cloete’s questions.

The boy yesterday told the court a brand new version of his actions surrounding the events on the fatal Good Friday. In this version, the dying Marthella was in a different place to his previous testimony.

Cloete said the new story had “taken the wind from his sails”. He accused the boy of adapting his story following evidence given by the state’s blood spatter expert.

Cloete put it to the boy that he had never — as he alleged — been in the barn during the murders. If that was the case, he would have been able to see Marthella being assaulted 15 metres from his position. He also denied hearing Marthella being attacked, although he had earlier told people he had heard her screaming.

He could not explain why he did not see blood on the outside wall and on the kitchen floor. Cloete put it to him that it was because he had never been outside, and was inside the house during the attack.

The boy said he did not see any blood from the barn because he was bare foot and took the foot path rather than the short cut, which had thorns. Cloete said this still did not answer his question about the blood on the wall and on the floor. The boy admitted it did not.

Cloete accused him of acting insensitively because he did not even check that the severely wounded Deon or Christel still had a pulse.

The boy alleged Marthella had told him she loved him in her last breath. Cloete wanted to know if she did not tell him who had attacked her. The boy said: “She did not say and I did not ask her.”

Cloete pointed out how strange it was that he did not call the police or ambulance immediately, and first put on a clean shirt before driving a bakkie into town. The boy said the bloody shirt was “uncomfortable” and that “he did not like human blood”.

Cloete wanted to know why the boy did not call anyone despite holding a cellphone in his hand. Instead he chose to race on a bad road to the police station. “It made more sense for me to drive. I thought it was the place to go to,” the boy answered.

Cloete pointed out the boy’s lack of interest in the investigation into the murders, mentioning several instances where the boy spoke with the investigating officer Colonel Dick de Waal, but did not ask any questions about the investigations. “You rather asked him what you would inherit.” The boy agreed with Cloete, but said it was the police’s job to investigate the murders.

The trial continues.

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