Griekwastad investigator 'also human'

2013-03-13 22:34

Kimberley - Forensic investigators are humans and can also make mistakes due to their working hours and trauma experienced at crime scenes, the Northern Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

"I am human. At the crime scene that night a family was massacred, revisiting the scene brought the memories back," said Northern Cape forensic investigator Lieutenant Andre McAnda.

The court was hearing evidence in the triple murder trial of a 16-year-old boy.

Northern Cape farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christelle, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14, were killed on their farm Naauwhoek, near Griekwastad, on 6 April, 2012.

McAnda, in cross-examination by the boy’s legal counsel, acknowledged that some mistakes had been made with the serial numbers of exhibits and evidence gathered.

"So we do not know in fact, not from this, whether the forensic lab received - [what] as stated on the document," said defence counsel Willem Coetzee.

McAnda testified that he "cut and pasted" from written reports and that some mistakes had appeared in the note-taking of exhibit plastic bags.

"I agreed it was a important document, but did not check it properly. I did this after we returned from Griekwastad, late at night."

However, Coetzee was not happy with the explanation.

"How many mistakes do you make? We will get to the others."

McAnda testified that the forensic investigation at the Naauwhoek farm outside Griekwastad was only completed by 01:00 on 17 April last year.

Coetzee questioned the investigator's different handling procedures of forensic evidence gathered.

The 16-year-old boy pleaded not guilty to the three murder charges.

Prosecutor Hannes Cloete read out five charges to the boy. He pleaded not guilty to all. They include a charge of rape and one of defeating the ends of justice.

The boy submitted no plea explanation.

Cases involving minors are usually held in camera, but several media houses have asked the court to cover the case, which granted the requests.

The boy may not be identified.

The cross-examination of McAnda's testimony-in-chief was expected to continue on Thursday.

  • Quartus van Zyl - 2013-03-14 07:18

    Incompetent investigating officers are exposing our delapetated police force. First in the Pistorius case and now in this case.. Shocking!

      Sonja Mulder Swart - 2013-03-14 08:35

      You forgot the Inge Lotz -case!

  • Nizole Middle-Finger Khala - 2013-03-14 07:20

    Oh my word!!

  • Willem Barend Claassens - 2013-03-14 07:34

    Shame poor incompetent fool. It is strange he did not claim it was apartheid's fault

  • compos.mentis.58 - 2013-03-14 07:35

    Another high profile case, and the best the SAPS can come up with is "I am human"? What a joke.

  • marianne.v.nieuwoudt - 2013-03-14 08:37

    There is no place for errors, this is a 16 year old boy on trail.

  • Shelle Malan - 2013-03-14 09:07

    Standard operating procedure in SA courts it appears. Any witness for the State is simply crucified and irrelevant of the crime committed, the accused walks free....protect the living and forget the dead seems to be the mindset these days and every criminal knows this....methinks that's why our country is in ruins - Police are overworked, under-qualified therefore incompetent, underpaid and stand no chance under cross-examination by a highly paid, well - educated, skilled defence team. Sad situation indeed.

  • salvador - 2013-03-14 14:02

    A travesty of justice

  • andretania.swart - 2013-03-18 14:21

    Just pathetic, if our investigation teams are making so many mistakes what's use of even having trials, waste of time and my husband's taxes....... just plain pathetic..... the government needs to realise get the right people for the job and work will get done,far too many mistakes that we told about what about one's we not aware of,it's unacceptable.............

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