Griekwastad murders 'over-emphasised'

2012-08-24 22:07

Kimberley - The bail application of a 16-year-old boy in the Griekwastad Children’s Court was postponed on Friday.

Magistrate OS Maswi said he would make his ruling on 3 September.

Willem Coetzee, for the boy, told the court the State had no direct evidence to link the boy to a Griekwastad farm murder.

The teenager was arrested for the murder of Northern Cape farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christelle, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14, who were shot on the family farm Naauwhoek on 6 April.

"Nothing shows he committed the crimes. It's all circumstantial, even the DNA is circumstantial," Coetzee contended.

He was cross-examining case investigator Colonel Dirk de Waal, who maintained the evidence was solid.

Coetzee said the State and De Waal had over-emphasised the brutality of the murders. He submitted that the investigator’s approach to the bail application had no foundation and that he was making assumptions "without grounds".

He contended the boy was at least, as a child, entitled to bail. Coetzee said the investigator was biased, but that it was expected of a policeman to believe in his investigation.

However, the assumptions he had made before the court were unfounded.

Prosecutor Hannes Cloete described the defence's witnesses in support of bail as subjective. The witnesses included the family supporting the boy, and his social worker.

Cloete submitted the State would go to trial with a strong case.

"Yes, it's circumstantial evidence, but sometimes circumstantial evidence is stronger than witnesses," he said.

He submitted that a bail application was not about determining guilt or innocence, but whether the State had a prima facie case.

Cloete said the investigation was nearly completed and that an indictment and a trial date in the matter could be finalised with a month.

The boy would be kept at a facility in Kimberley until the bail ruling.

  • NickvanderLeek - 2012-08-24 22:58


  • lownabester - 2012-08-24 23:07

    Pre meditated and cruel, 16 years old and already so violent??? Let him rot.

  • fishycraig - 2012-08-24 23:15

    Oh yes, he over-emphasised the murders. Silly prosecutor. Let this poor boy go so he can go home, do some schooling, hang out with his friends and, well, plan the next farm murder.

      gungets.tuft - 2012-08-25 07:22

      The accused is the son and brother of the victims. It is a family murder that happened on a farm. You are over emphasising the farm!!

      andreas.meyer.12327 - 2012-08-26 12:53

      It's the bail application, not whether he's off the hook or not.

  • facts.peter - 2012-08-24 23:16

    I agree with his attorney. Stop over emphasizing this case. Just put him behind bars, through the keys away (he cannot be normal" and play some videos of the (his) loved one's he killed 24 hours a day for the rest of his life. All over and forgotten without wasting anyone’s time and money.

      ricks.louw - 2012-08-25 08:17

      If it was your child that seemed normal and was part of a close knit family...... and this sad story happened.... would you feel the same???? Remember he hasn't been found guilty!!

      louis.langenhoven - 2012-08-25 12:04

      like the movies on SAA

      facts.peter - 2012-08-25 12:12

      @Ricks. I would feel exactly the same. Please don't call a mad, sick individual a child. In other words, if it had to be your child you would try and defend him or her not for just the murders but the way he or she did it. You must be crazy. Stop feeling sorry for murders and think about the last moments of the victims.

      nicky.jansenvanvuuren - 2012-08-27 06:18

      ricks.louw - It has happened in my family - My sister-in-law's son shot and killed het with a shotgun. blew her head off in her bedroom. Yes we feel the same. Throw the key away and let him rot.

  • evert.devries.96 - 2012-08-24 23:20

    As if we can over - estimate a brutal multiple killing. Mr lawyer, you have your time now - the killer will have his - oh sorry - over the next 25 years - whilst you still live off the 2 cents he paid you !!!!!!!

  • phillie.jansenvanvuuren - 2012-08-24 23:31

    I am now convinced, more than ever that lawyers,advocates and all practicing law are the scum of the earth.Over emphasizing not just one but three murders. And contesting DNA as circumstantial Not only scum but idiots.

      yvette.wiid - 2012-08-25 00:05

      DNA can be cicrumstanital - he lived in the house, his DNA will inevitably be there. Not that I think he's innocent, no way. Murders can't be over-emphasised'. Also, not all lawyers practice criminal law. We're not all worthy of that 'scum of the earth' title, if you please.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-08-25 00:09

      They're all scum etc. Until you need one.

      Jason - 2012-08-25 01:36

      So by your expert analysis even the state prosecutor is scum? Bloody dimwit.

      johan.bloem.902 - 2012-08-25 06:55

      Seems as if you are convinced very easily, Oom Philip

      gungets.tuft - 2012-08-25 07:23

      Yvette - you are right. 99% of lawyers give that 1% a terrible name.

      june.april.148 - 2012-08-25 13:35

      Its their job to give the utmost unbiased service to their clients. Not scum, just doing their jobs.

      marike.kersop - 2012-08-27 15:33

      In other words, the prosecutor and judge (who are also practicing law) who will eventually find this boy guilty (if he is indeed guilty) are part of the scum of the earth? Nice logic you have there.

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-08-24 23:35

    Well, a defence attorney has to do and say what he can. There's a lot of hate and/or very disturbed mind to kill Mom, Dad and Sister. In the fullness of time, we will learn more. Right now, it seems an extreme way to emphasise whatever the problems were.

      leeann.mentorcarstens - 2012-08-25 00:48

      Well this is not an isolated case and not the first time that this has happened in SA. Remember the Naidoo guy that convinced a brother and sister that he was the 3rd son of God and that they should kill their parents. I think that if this child killed his parents, its going to come out that he belong to some or other sick cult. With SA having such a low conviction rate this kid could come off clean on technical points. Just hope the cops crossed their t's and dotted the i's. Would be nice to follow this trial and see what the outcome would be.

  • iceman196 - 2012-08-25 03:58

    The DNA is circumstantial he says, the brutality of the murders has been over emphasised he also says, where did this idiot get his law degree, ah the same place the baby killer jub jub's defence got his, a freaking lucky packet

      johan.bloem.902 - 2012-08-25 07:00

      Calm down Ian. Remember the difference between a Bail Application and Trial. Are you a lawyer?

      iceman196 - 2012-08-25 07:59

      @Johan, no I am not, it just sickens me to see these ambulance chasers try to challenge an open and shut case, either DNA is there or it isnt and I am not talking about it being in normal place in a home, Everyone knows exactly where it is, How did it get there if he didnt pull the trigger, then theres the debate on gun shot residue, oh wait a sec that must be over emphasised as well, hang the murdering vermin

      john.loveland.9 - 2012-08-25 10:43

      AIan... There is no gun shot residue, he wouldn't have been tested by the police if he was not an immediate suspect. And if he is family his DNA will be all over the house, making it very to link it to the crime. He may be guilty, but it may not be that easy to prove. And I like a legal system where I'm innocent until proven guilty.

      gabrielle.kelly.56 - 2012-08-26 03:05

      @ John. There was gun shot residue on his shirt and I'm sure that experts can tell the difference between residue that was wiped from the guns to the shirt as he picked up the weapons at the gate versus a spray of residue as a result of firing the weapons.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-08-25 04:06

    This 'boy' is trying to wriggle out of a TRIPPLE homicide! He should be allowed NO leniency or mercy, just like he had ZERO for his victims killed in cold blood.. At 16 he knew exactly what he was doing and should be 'tried' as an adult the degenerate piece of scumbag, good for nothing oxygen thief..

      cynthia.matthews.77 - 2012-08-26 21:05

      I am so sorry for you! Have you walked in his shoes? Do you know that both thos kids had dogs and that the father shot Don's dog in front of him the previous day for behaving badly. So think again, some chilldren cannot survive such favouritism. There is alot more to this story than we think.

      marike.kersop - 2012-08-27 15:38

      No, he shouldn't be tried as an adult. Because he isn't one. There are very good reasons why the law operates the way it does.

  • juannepierre - 2012-08-25 06:29

    To all these comments: Always quick to defend the dead. How do you even know they were good people? What was the motive behind the killings? Or as rational thinking human beings, do these questions even pop in your mind? Oh, no, let him rot, let him fry, throw away the key... Because that helps, every time. And these comments prove why something like this, a teenage boy wiping out an entire family, can happen... We as a nation, we lack compassion, understanding and forgiveness. Curb your anger folks, stop taking it personally and try and see the bigger picture, I beg you.

      lownabester - 2012-08-25 07:16

      Very difficult to talk about compassion if you murdered your whole family.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-08-25 12:24

      Juannepierre. Thank you.

      gabrielle.kelly.56 - 2012-08-26 03:13

      Juannepierre ... considering that one of the victims was a 14 year old girl who suffered blunt force trauma to the back of the head before being shot ... yes I have absolutely no problem whatsoever jumping to the defence of the dead. Believe it or not and regardless of what the motive was, the dead are the victims. No one deserves to die this way and shame on you for preaching compassion for the suspect while undermining the victims and insinuating that a 14 yo girl could possibly have done something to have deserved her death.

      Philip - 2012-09-14 02:51

      I think that you are lacking a bit of compassion yourself. You are seriously questioning whether or not a 14-year-old girl was a good person? Nevermind whether or not the parents were good people (I think they have behaved very questionably), but a 14-year-old girl? Have some compassion for the girl who was murdered. Please, I beg you! Yes, I will always be quick to defend a dead child. You may think differently, but I will always defend a child who is murdered from people like you.

  • bernard.mackenzie.5 - 2012-08-25 06:48

    The defence lawyer is doing what he is supposed to do- provide the best possible defence, irrespective of whether he thinks his client is guilty or not. This system is not perfect but there really is no other way- hear both sides of the story and hopefully come to correct verdict. Calling the defence lawyer scum just shows how little you understand of the system. Stop and think before you present your idiotic comments about lawyers.

      shane.jacoby.3 - 2012-08-25 08:39

      Bernard, I would love to add my six- pence worth about lawyers... but in my experience, I would then receive a bill from each and every one of them, for the time spent reading my comment, and another (at a slightly higher rate) for their dictated response, carefully typed out by their legal typists... so I will rather refrain from commenting.

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-08-25 09:58

      @thinkb4speak: I suggest you take your own advice and think before you speak because your post is one big generalisation and stereotyping exercise. As the mother of a very fine young lawyer I can assure you that in the case of my own son I know the extremely long and dedicated hours he puts in as well as the fact that he does not practise criminal law. It takes a special kind of person to remain objective when working in this area of law where your clients may have committed heinous crimes against fellow human beings where the uninformed public are baying for the blood of your client (behaving in fact like the accused murderer before all the evidence and mitigating facts are known to them). You are paid for all the time you dedicate to each case not only looking for extenuating circumstances but also precedents from former cases. You are paid for your skill in cross examining what may well be watertight evidence and in securing for your client the very best experts on why that evidence may be faulty or why your client should not receive the harshest penalty that the judge finally hands down at the end of the trial. Someone has to speak for the alleged criminal especially when in this case the person is only 16 years old and does not know enough to speak for himself nor have the skill and experience necessary to do so. Not for one moment am I denying how tragic this whole case is nor how brutal the perpetrator was, but there may be extenuating circumstances.

  • Rialine Steyn - 2012-08-25 07:07

    The brutality of these murders are what they are! brutal! It cannot be over emphasized! and the fact that this child (i'm assuming its the brother) might have done this, makes it even more brutal!

  • simon.carter.5836711 - 2012-08-25 07:24

    So,in other words its the good kind of murder as opposed to the bad kind?? Oh well in that case, let him off, give him a house and car

  • danny.levin.351 - 2012-08-25 09:37

    The NPA said the same about the "solid" evidence they had on Fred VAn Der Vyver, and we all know today that it was malicious prosecution. in order to score a "closed case" the useless NPA and SAPS focus on convicting the werong person and at the same time let the real perpetrator stay free and off the radar.

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-08-25 12:03

    "over-emphasised the brutality of the murders" once you start talking such hogwash one knows your are in trouble and that you are an attorney without any selfrespect or morals.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-08-25 12:20

    Circumstantial evidence in this country mean you are screwed.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-08-25 12:22

    I see you have already found him guilty. Now petition the courts for the right to stone him.

  • thandazab - 2012-08-25 18:56

    A 16 year old who wipes out his whole family should not be categorized as a minor. N also why are the stories so vague. I think I've read 3 articles on this but not one of them let's u know that the boy was family. I wouldn't have known had it not been for the comments.

  • kevin.coetzee1 - 2012-08-26 03:43

    If the Jacob Zuma and ex ANC youth leader can sing hate songs (kill the boer)then they are as much to blame for the criminal deeds of this 16 year old. This is the role models they set for the youth. The police are under fire for killing mine workers who are attacking them with machetes and firearms but little or no mention is made of the 2 policemen killed by the mob of strikers.What will happen when all the farmers have been removed from their farms by this violence, who will feed the nation then.We have seen the success Zimbabwe has had by removing the farmers, starvation, sickness, unemployment and a total reliance on aid orginizations from the outside world.

  • Hemlock - 2012-09-03 13:19

    This kid should be kept in custody. "He contended the boy was at least, as a child, entitled to bail." What he did to three people was not the action of a child!!!!!

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