Griekwastad youth's actions were strange - State

2013-11-19 22:06
(Emile Hendricks, Volksblad)

(Emile Hendricks, Volksblad)

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Kimberley - The actions of a 17-year-old youth on the day of the Griekwastad farm killings, of which he is accused, seemed strange, the Northern Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

"Do you realise how your testimony looks...? How strange it sounds?" prosecutor Hannes Cloete asked the teenager in cross examination.

Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo is hearing evidence in Kimberley in the trial of the youth, who is accused of killing farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and their daughter Marthella, 14.

They were shot dead on their farm Naauwhoek, near Griekwastad, on 6 April 2012. He is also accused of raping Marthella and of defeating the ends of justice.

Cloete asked him why he, as a functioning and composed individual, did not think of phoning the police about the attack on the farm while hiding.

"You are agile with a cellphone. You had various contacts on it, only the push of a button away. People that could help, the police."

The State alleges the boy had a cellphone on him at the time.

"You did not think to phone? That cannot be true," said Cloete.

The youth answered: "That was how I acted at the time."

The prosecutor put it to him that evidence indicated that Marthella Steenkamp, who was seconds from dying, had thought about phoning for help.

"But you, in safety, uninjured in the shed, did not think of making a call?" asked Cloete.

Discrepancies in testimony

The State also questioned him about discrepancies between his testimony on Tuesday and that of witnesses in the trial.

There were also important differences between his story and expert evidence.

"There is no answer [from the youth]. You know the expert evidence creates problems for you," Cloete submitted at some stage.

"No, Honourable," the youth answered.

Cloete submitted that he was adjusting his story as he went along.

"It creates a bad impression as a witness. You must be careful," the prosecution advised him.

Cloete also submitted that he should begin to give reasons for his replies to questions.

He stated that the youth's constant reaction to questions, such as "I do not know", "possibly" and "I do not remember", would not help him.

Accused heard nothing

Earlier, the court heard that the youth did not hear the girl being attacked 15m away from where he said he was at the time.

"You want the court to believe for one moment that you heard nothing of Marthella's attack... 15 metres from where you were?" Cloete asked.

"Yes, Honourable," the boy answered.

Cloete told him that - according to his own version - he must have been 15 steps from where the girl was attacked.

"You would have had a view of where Marthella and her attackers would have been."

Cloete told him the State did not expect him to change his testimony, however, his story in court was so untruthful that "it hurts even listening to it".

The State told him it was worried about his almost "nevermind" attitude when answering questions.

The prosecutor reminded him that the court knew what Marthella experienced during the attack.

"And you say you heard nothing while two witnesses told the court you told them you heard her scream?" asked Cloete.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    kimberley  |  griekwastad murders

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