Gruesome details of farm murders emerge

2012-08-24 14:40

Kimberley - Gruesome details about the murder of a Griekwastad farmer and his family emerged during Friday's bail application of a 16-year-old boy arrested for the crime.

Police investigator Dirk de Waal testified as a State witness in opposing bail.

De Waal said farmer Deon Steenkamp was found with three gunshot wounds, one in the right shoulder, one behind the ear, and another in the chest. His wife Christelle was shot in the shoulder, neck, and back. Their daughter Marthella was shot twice in the body and twice in the head.

De Waal told the court that ballistics experts concluded that a .357 Magnum was first used in the murders. The final shots came from a .22 rifle.

Severely beaten

The autopsy determined that the father and daughter had blunt injuries to their heads.

"She was beaten severely with an object at the back of her head," De Waal said.

Despite media rumours that no care was taken with the murder scene, experts handled it professionally, De Waal testified.

He said the crime scene was first video recorded. Police who entered the area were dressed in "scene-packs", special clothing used to prevent contamination of evidence.

De Waal said police investigated the murder holistically and excluded other potential scenarios, including a farm attack, revenge, or a murder-suicide.

The boy showed no emotion when he was arrested in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

"He was as he is today," De Waal said, referring to his calm demeanour in the dock. The boy sat with his elbows on his knees, listening attentively.

Smiling when he heard news

While driving back to Kimberly after the boy's arrest, they heard news of the arrest on a radio news bulletin. In the rear-view mirror De Waal could see him smiling.

De Waal testified the boy was linked to the crime with DNA found at the murder scene, including a T-shirt that belonged to him. He said he had absolute confidence in his evidence and in the expert opinions he had received.

It would be in the interests of justice for the boy to be kept in custody.

"These were gruesome, gruesome murders."

The bail hearing would resume on Friday afternoon with the cross-examination of the State's witness.

Deon Steenkamp, 44, Christelle, 43, and Marthella, 14, were shot dead on their farm Naauwhoek on April 6.

The State is attempting to prove three murder charges against the boy. He cannot be named because he is a minor.

  • shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-08-24 14:48

    I feel NOTHING for this kid - Damn monster

      yvonne.styger.3 - 2012-08-24 15:43

      Oh, this was the trial and he has been found guilty? I wrongly presumed that this was only the bail hearing.

      JuditVictor - 2012-08-24 15:50

      The "boy" it seems had a clinical jealousy of his sister. She simply accomplished more than he did. He couldn't wait to "get" HER horse (the better horse) after she died. That grabbed me the first time I heard of this murder. Jealousy and psycopathy, I suppose, are related in the mental world. This kid will do anything to get what he wants in this world - he'll never change. We fear for our families everyday - imagine taking a gun and mowing them down??? the very same family which is the only anchor a youngster can truly bank on. Wow, this is one cold-hearted event.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-08-24 22:05

      @kevin.pitzer - Before you completely lose your mind, this particular murder was by a family member - the teenage son. So try and focus on context and keep a level head. This was patricide, matricide and familicide - not genocide.

      michelle.m.odendaal - 2012-08-25 16:13

      Warren, this is a family murder- not a farm murder. ????

      pjthesecond.eldest - 2012-08-25 19:29

      warren.moore.7545 is another fine example why fools should not be taught to read. :::SMH:::

      andreas.meyer.12327 - 2012-08-26 14:07

      Yvonne is right. This is just the bail hearing and the police is trying to put a case together. So he's a suspect, because some evidence seems to point to him and really, this can not be excluded. But he's still presumed innocent until there is a verdict. If he'd get bail, so be it, he isn't of the hook with that either.

  • Hemlock - 2012-08-24 14:50

    Cold blooded killer monster.

      tgif.wtfaw - 2012-08-24 15:24


      lownabester - 2012-08-24 19:55

      To beat & shoot your own family and then carry on like normal = Cold, ruthless, arrogant. Please dont give him bail. Keep him locked up while the trail is going on. I would not want my kid in the same school with him.

  • jody.beggs - 2012-08-24 14:55

    There's more to the story than what's been shown. Judge not lest ye be judged ? Idjits...

      arm.witmens - 2012-08-24 15:00

      Dont quote from the bible in one instance and in the next you condemn it as a fairytale. MORON

      jomardl - 2012-08-24 15:08

      Actually, some of us do know some of the background details.

      belia.visser.5 - 2012-08-24 15:09

      People dont judge him, he killed all three of them, his parents and his sister in cold blood, can you imagine what went through their minds at the last moments of their lives? Why? Then he carried on as if nothing happened, he did not admit to the murder nor did he show any remorse!

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-08-24 15:11

      Cold blooded killer, he won't be missed in society.

      don.richards.1044 - 2012-08-24 15:41

      And....thou shall not don’t be such a hypocrite....tool

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-08-24 16:25

      I'm a bit confused - a lot of comments seem to be accusing the perp as a member of the majority population group - but isn't it the brother of the girl that killed her and his parents? (Savages? Who?) Or am I wrong, was it an outsider - this kid?

      lownabester - 2012-08-24 20:00

      Chum Scrubber, I think you are very very confused. He killed his parents and sister and they are all white. You might be thinking of another case.

      gungets.tuft - 2012-08-24 21:03

      @formandzen - miss the point much. It was the son/brother that killed his own family. Are you that dof that you immediately jump onto the politics thing. Lownabester - same goes for you. Chumscrubber is correct. 1/2 the race obsessed commentators have thought with their nads and jumped right in there. Pavlov anyone??? ... hear the bell ring and start salivating - no brain necessary.

  • alaina.nel.12 - 2012-08-24 14:55

    He was not such a minor when he started killing his family.He is a danger to the public.Please no bail for him.Keep him away from other living people.

  • lerato.motshana - 2012-08-24 14:56

    I feel nothing for him as well, he can rot in jail for all i care but he had help, i dont believe he did it on his own, there was someone. The police did a great job but they need to dig deeper, there is no way he did it on his own.

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-08-24 16:20

      Perhaps he used a silencer? It does seem odd that the shots were not heard and suggests an accomplice however if a silencer was used then perhaps he could have done this himself? Knocked out father and sister and then killed mother and went back and finished off sister and father. He doesn't sound like he was the sharpest tool in the toolbox.

      pieter0827006294 - 2012-08-24 16:50

      Lerato, I'm thinking they were too surprised that their own son was busy doing these things. Maybe tried to talk him down and not attack him, I mean what would you have done if your own son started shooting at you. I also agree, maybe he had someone helping him.

  • Pagel - 2012-08-24 14:57

    How do you get the point where you can do things like this? Have a feeling if insanity was no longer an acceptable defence, you'd see much less of this sort of thing.

  • hendrik.schutte.3152 - 2012-08-24 15:00

    Although the media need to adhere to rules etc. it must be as clear as daylight who the suspect is that was arrested. Right at the outset it was rumoured that it could be him. Then various people were interviewed and vouched for what a good kid he is. It is chilling to read the detectives account of the "smiling face" in the back of the car when the arrest was mentioned on a radio news bulletin. It leaves one dumb struck to try understand what would have caused this kid to act so calculatingly cold blooded. Not shot once or with one fire arm, but multiple shots with at least two different weapons. One thing I must agree with is NO BAIL. can not be let loose amongst the other pupils at the school now that there is some serious reasons to have arrested him. Phew, we live in a crazy, crazy country. Mind you, not just this country, weird world actually.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-08-24 16:29

      We're almost as bad as the USA - look, another mass shooting today at the Empire State Building ... but ja, we are not in a good place right now. At least we have not had a Brievik yet.

      attie.stone.3 - 2012-08-24 17:16

      Slaughter House planet actually, HJS- considering human history.

      gungets.tuft - 2012-08-24 21:38

      Kevin Pitzer - you shouldn't drink and type.

  • mathinjwa - 2012-08-24 15:05

    To think when it happend it was said it was the deeds of the ANC and its partners.

      Bianca-Anne - 2012-08-24 15:12

      Possible that Family never ever voted for the ANC and the kid, to young as well and yes, from the start its was blamed ont he ANC and its partners and now people are looking for reasons why this has happened and even praying for the little monster.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-08-24 16:01

      Nonsense. From day one the boy's story did not make sense and many people called it correctly. Anyone with a brain knew the son was involved.

      christoffel.nel - 2012-08-24 18:45

      you dumb ass, malema! screw you

      maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-08-25 14:56

      No it was not said to be ANC and it's partners, stop feeling sorry for yourself

  • sanda.mnyazi - 2012-08-24 15:05


  • Bradley Froud - 2012-08-24 15:08

    Rid him from society! Cold blooded monster.

  • brian.ocinneide.7 - 2012-08-24 15:14

    He should be strung up.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-08-24 15:15

    Evil personified! Such a pity there is no death penalty!

  • kgolane.thulare - 2012-08-24 15:19

    What were they DOING TO THIS CHILD!!??!?!?!?! ...lets put our thinking caps on...this clearly wasnt a dispute about taking out the trap... They pushed the boy...

      ben.spreeth - 2012-08-24 15:48

      No, he was smiling when he heard the news which proves that this boy is not normal.

      johan.maree.5036 - 2012-08-24 16:04

      possible motive: money he is inheriting...

      kgolane.thulare - 2012-08-24 16:17

      @Ben...Im glad we agree, how many people have you seen smiling in court. while on trial for murder...the parents f*ckedup this kids mind.

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-08-24 16:40

      I believe kgolane.thulare asks a legitimate question here. Why would a boy have so much anger, hatred, envy etc of his sister if the family themselves were quite normal. One wonders whether the school he attended had noticed any aberrant behaviour which might have led them to suspect him of having a violent nature? The guardians appear to care about his well being and they are either close friends or relatives. He is still going through adolescence when boys do some crazy things and the hormonal imbalances in my opinion lead to mental instability in some people. Obviously something triggered the murders and he has no remorse or fear of the consequences. People do not want to label their child or admit to mental problems for obvious reasons - stigma - perhaps he is a paranoid schizophrenic and was never medicated. Much has still to be revealed in this case and we are all just speculating here. Why was he so jealous of his sister? Why were the sister and the father bludgeoned and the mother not? Smiling inappropriately is sometimes a nervous reflex and just means that the person is not sure of what reaction is appropriate in a situation. Very sad situation altogether but one where he definitely should not be allowed out on bail and back at school. ?

      cherri.pye.5 - 2012-08-25 23:40

      @kgolane - Ever heard of psychopaths? @kevin - You really aren't the brightest crayon in the box. Kid being victimised - are you serious??

  • jvandeventer - 2012-08-24 15:20

    What drives a son to kill his father, mother and younger sister? Not just hurt them, but making double sure they were dead. The punishment should fit the crime. He was no child when he commited those adult crimes!!!

  • perumalgovender - 2012-08-24 15:32

    Must rot in jail.

  • brian.ocinneide.7 - 2012-08-24 15:32

    Hang him high.

  • napolita.kio - 2012-08-24 15:34

    "De Waal said police investigated the murder holistically and excluded other potential scenarios, including a farm attack..." What is "farm attack"? So, which "scenario" is this? Which is murder "farm attack" and when is it NOT?

      rocky.bell.5 - 2012-08-24 15:59

      you go and figure......

      mike.down.5492 - 2012-08-24 16:09

      When you grow up you will understand.

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-08-24 16:58

      I think farm attack is when the family on the farm are ALL killed regardless of age or threat to the people who commit the attack. Frequently the woman is raped and/or tortured before they are killed in various ways, pangas, spades, weapons of opportunity etc and equally frequently part of the attack is about finding weapons and/or money. There is an element of revenge or hatred too in the farm attacks which one sees here as well so in a sense this is a farm attack but with none of the motives seen in the common farm attacks where frequently it is older people who are targeted. Where this 16 year old murderer went wrong was that he didn't get rid of the guns. Had the guns been missing he might have got away with it by claiming he hid away and escaped but instead he handed the guns to the police probably thinking that if he was suspected and tested for gunpowder residue he could say that it was because he had handled the guns. His behaviour was at odds with the brutality and any story he concocted would not have rung true. Just my opinion here - I am not in possession of any facts but from the outset it seemed odd that he had the presence of mind to remain hidden and not go to the defence of his family and then instead of phoning for help he drives to the police station picking up the guns on the way in as I understand it.

      michelle.m.odendaal - 2012-08-25 15:55

      This is a family murder. The son did it. Not a farm attack by strangers.

  • alletta.strydom - 2012-08-24 15:37

    gobsmacked by the incident. there must be much deeper problems than anyone realised. no bail, i will be petrified in his presence.

      meyer.schoeman - 2012-08-25 06:49

      Kevin please stop trolling and copy and pasting the same comment umpteen times. Get a life

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-08-24 15:42

    This is not a farm murder, it is a tragic family murder!

      lee.ferreira - 2012-08-24 19:01

      But what preempted it or what caused it?? We can only speculate and hang the child before he is found guilty and most of you are the lynch mob in this case! Give the law a chance to run its course please!

  • wotini.maceba - 2012-08-24 15:45

    I worrry everyday in our country that if one kills a family it is just a trip to jail and holiday for the killer. Those people belong to a family who loves them the void will exist for life, the pain their family and friends go through never ends no prayer can take it away

      gail.hayesbean - 2012-08-24 17:07

      And so often the criminals get away with it and the victims are decent law-abiding people going about their lives of daily struggle. My housekeeper lost a young family member who had just graduated from university - there were witnesses to who did the shooting the car number plates and everything. The police found the car and the people but no gun so no case was brought. It was the word of the innocent victims against that of the murderers. All to do with a dispute about who bought and drank the drinks in the bar. The victim did not even drink anything but went to buy a colddrink and was shot when he exited. I weep for the families because they have no closure, no reason why he was singled out.

  • michael.barns.1 - 2012-08-24 15:47

    16 years old?! wow... there was some serious hatred there, I havent been following this case, but does anyone know why this boy did this?

      rocky.bell.5 - 2012-08-24 16:03

      My analysis after following the crime issues. Jealousy, low selfesteem, problem child, nerd, demanding, not doing well at school, arrogant. (details on the above will take to long to explain - my own conclusions as details became available)

      michael.barns.1 - 2012-08-24 16:18

      yes but was his relation to the deceased? He must have known them to inflict that amount of anger onto them, as in what sparked the rampage?

      rocky.bell.5 - 2012-08-24 17:47

      Michael. He murdered his FATHER, MOTHER and only SUSTER. Haven't you followed the story since beginning April?

      michael.barns.1 - 2012-08-24 18:19

      oh sorry I didnt know that, I just read this article now, I didnt know they were his family. Are you sure because this article doesnt mention anything about that they were his family, it just says a boy murdered a family. Weird reporting to say the least.

      michael.barns.1 - 2012-08-25 09:04

      this farm murder thing really gets to me, the TOTAL farm murders which are reported 24/7 in news papers and forums, accounts for 1% of the total murders in SA. Yes I will say it again, 1% (one percent) of the total murders in SA. What of the other 99%, did those people have a B.Comm? were they civil servants? Should the crisis not be that of a B.Comm or civil service genocide? No... This farm murder BS is only because it happens to be Afrikaans people that are the majority of farmers, and so love to stir the pot and think they are the only people in this world worth paying attention to. As sad as it is you need to wake up and realise that farm murders happen becaues they are soft targets on large deserted pieces of land where no one can quickly come for help. So please, let us treat farm murders the same as any other murder in this country, as any murder is a tragedy.

      michelle.m.odendaal - 2012-08-25 15:50

      This is not a farm murder. It is a family murder that happened at their home - a farm coincidentally.

  • keaobaka.mokae - 2012-08-24 15:49

    Hang him!

  • clara.viljee - 2012-08-24 15:56

    Sad, sad for this kid. If he is convicted he will not inherit as much as 1cent from his father or mother's will. All the assets will be going to his father's next of kin ie brothers, sisters etc. If he would get 3 life long sentences he will be out of jail in approximately 20 - 25yrs time- 41 years old and with nothing in hand to start over. At least he will have access to school and University facilities whilst in jail (for which us, the tax payers will foot the bill of course) but I doubt if he will ever, ever adjust to the outside world again. Maybe the Court will, as the the Waterkloof 4 gentlemen allow him to first finish his matric before starting his sentence. We will have to wait and see. What a shame for a life lost.

  • arregante.storbeck - 2012-08-24 16:01

    Prisoners getting a get out of jail free card due to SA having so many criminals... Prisons over stacked... people like this ...JUST BRING BACK DEATH PENALTY! SA NEEDS ITS

  • c0l1ard - 2012-08-24 16:15

    Must of hated his sister to first beat her up and then shot her.

  • danie.mouton.39 - 2012-08-24 16:22

    and the genocide on farmers started when...?? When the commando forces that were deployed to protect the farmers were finally abolished in 2008. Statistics on farm murders will confirm this fact. The next step was the new gun licencing legeslation. Then the land reformation failed...a grusome way to get farm land - just killl the farmers...the ANC youth league are very vocal about land grab abd killing the boer so I'm not amazed to see more and more teenagers are involved in these acts.

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-08-25 07:40

      Tell me bout it. I've been waiting 7 yrs for my license to be approved. Its a joke.

  • colleen.thomson.9 - 2012-08-24 16:37

    Hell of away to get attention, wonder how he is going to cope with all this attention. Pure evil.

  • jeanpierre.vandervyver - 2012-08-24 17:04

    Boy if i was a President of The Republic of South Africa, i would turn this country into Paradise. I would reduce crime intense, there will be no jails in the cities, the jails will ne station out in the desert and other places where prisoners are to work and do constructive contributions. Execution of a criminal will not solve anything. The criminal shall pay his debt to soceity for years of work and reconstructing South Africa. And job growth for all citizens, we can do soo much wonders if you only put your energy into it, oh and a 'plus' i am gonna fire all useless politicians and corrupted leaders, time to restore the Nation into the hands of the Righteous. Oh what a dream, do not live in the past baby, time to project confidence, hope, humbleness, bold, time to be strong against all odds and evil, creatures of all colors, we are all colorful flowers, let us bloom together with a smile and make it all wunderbar. Peace

  • gerda.vanrensburg - 2012-08-24 18:15

    Gailhaysbean,farmers normally teach their children how to handle a firearm and its clear the killer knew how to shoot. As regarding the sound and silencer, its a farm - lots of space before the next inhabitant and being on a farm I think a shooting practise here and there will not attract attention. My HOPE is that the police can withstand any attack from the killer's legal team and not lose the case on some technicality. I would not like to see the grin of satisfaction on the killer's face.

  • njdejager - 2012-08-24 18:26

    Shoot him too if found guilty. He does not deserve to live

  • barry.kossew - 2012-08-24 18:35

    Can we also have a week of mourning for these murders?

      maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-08-25 15:07

      Barry that is below the belt mate not the same thing. This is a tradgedy not a joke.

  • NickvanderLeek - 2012-08-24 19:13

    someone like this deserves the death penalty.

  • jonivdw - 2012-08-24 20:04

    so·ci·o·path/'soseo?paTH/ Noun: A person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience. More info »Wikipedia - - - Merriam-Webster

      dimitripappas - 2012-08-26 10:46

      Psychopath would be more appropriate than sociopath... this kid is a psychopath.

  • sbacosta - 2012-08-24 20:52

    COWARDS. Stop messing with our farmers. TRY ME!

  • sa.citizen.3 - 2012-08-24 20:57


  • Vince.York - 2012-08-24 21:08

    Kevin, it's true that the SA government has chosen to ignore farm murders because of populist political support no matter that the majority are perpetrated against a minority population racial sector! But then again, the ruling regime now, is not a government but a near total dictatorship verging on police state already as it nears to implosion. (Next time you head off to 2xJ's have one on me for last time!)

  • brendon.nel.7 - 2012-08-25 07:37

    Its in the interest of justice to bring back public executions or the firing squad. Better yet string his ass up and leave it to rot hanging on the side of the road as a warning to other would be murderers.

  • andrew.c.ilsley - 2012-08-25 07:52

    time to bring back the death penalty??? lets kill everyone, oh damn we get lodging and 3 meals a day for the rest of our lives..... I can't believe this, in a week of terrible tragedy this just caps off everything.. as an outsider if this kid did commit such an act I hope justice finds its path and not just a lingering 20 yr sentence.

  • adair.cross - 2012-08-25 09:11

    He sounds like a psychopath.Best they keep him locked up.

  • marita.pienaar - 2012-08-25 10:15

    "The State is attempting to prove three murder charges against the boy. He cannot be named because he is a minor." What a joke when the boy has been all over the media since April!!

  • mupengo.kapusi - 2012-08-25 10:38

    Dear kevin.pitzer please pack your bags and go dude,S.A will be a better place without a nut case like you.who knows what you can do to someone when they do not agree with you?

  • zenzaleni - 2012-08-25 13:56

    pardon me asking but where in the editorial does it say the Mr Steenkamp family are in fact the accused's own family? Maybe amongst the other mumbo jumbo I have missed that part? Will someone please enlighten me thank you

  • maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-08-25 14:45

    Problem now is if he is not kept in prison and is given bail he could commit murder at the school, what further sentenceor punishment would he get other than life in prison, so it would make no difference to him. He is a psychopath and could never be rehabilitated. How can people say he is a normal kid? he is a killer. There are other means of dealing with problems other than blasting your family to smithereens I don't care what the circumstances are.

  • diegofrank.faul - 2012-08-25 15:52

    I thought white people were a moral compass and superior as they always claim. I thought only black kill farmers. pitty this guy has no Indian man to blame for killing his parents like the Durban kids. Who is killing and selling our rhinos, white Afrikaaners. it just goes to show when the price is right everyone is as corrupt as the white that stole our land.

  • heinrich.fillis - 2012-08-25 21:28

    Thats is s definition of the K-word. If only his kind can die out...

  • atholl.hay - 2012-08-26 10:47

    The headline is misleading. This is not what is commonly known as a "farm" murder, it's a family murder that took place on a farm.

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