New developments’ rumoured as Griekwastad case is postponed, judge asks media not to speculate

2013-11-28 00:00

KIMBERLEY — There are allegedly “new developments” in the Griekwastad murder trial, which yesterday caused the case to be postponed to December 9.

The state and the defence had already closed their cases and the delay postponed their arguments to summarise the evidence and legal principles that were supposed to be heard yesterday.

The defence’s heads of argument had only been handed in on Tuesday. The state’s heads of argument were already handed to the court on Monday.

The court yesterday gave no reasons why the final arguments in the Griekwastad murder trial had been postponed to December 9.

A minor teenager had been charged with the murders of Deon, Christel and Marthella Steenkamp, as well as Marthella’s rape and defeating the ends of justice.

The minor reported to the police that he found their bodies in their family home on Good Friday at the farm Naauw­hoek. Sister paper Volksblad had learned from an informed source that the new development in court had caused unhappiness in certain circles.

The accused was, however, very happy yesterday, and constantly smiled in court.

Advocate Hannes Cloete, for the state, started yesterday’s court proceedings by asking for the case to be postponed. This was after reaching an agreement with advocate Willem Coetzee, for the defence.

Judge president Frans Kgomo agreed to the delay, but asked the media not to call him or his secretary to ask about the reason behind the delay, because they did not know what this reason was. While this is unusual, he said he respected the professionalism of the two advocates in the opposing legal teams.

Professor Neels Swanepoel with the Free State University said there may be an application to re-open the case because of new evidence, which both teams still needed to study. He said in his opinion the state had a watertight case.

“The judge will have to be sensitive to a request for a postponement. Both sides are entitled to a speedy completion of the case and to date the trial had proceeded without unnecessary delays.

“As long as the judge is happy that the administration of justice will not suffer, there is nothing strange to me in his agreeing to [a postponement].”

Swanepoel stressed that he was just speculating. “There may be other reasons why either or both the sides needed postponement.”

Another legal expert, who did not want to be named, said the postponement without a reason was very strange. He said it was both unacceptable and unheard of for the public to be denied a reason why a case had been postponed at such a late stage of the trial.

He said if the postponement was requested because the accused had decided to change his plea, it would not help to shorten or soften his possible sentencing.

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


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
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.