News24

Media warned at Griekwastad trial

2013-03-27 19:35

Kimberley - Members of the media covering the 2012 Griekwastad farm murder trial were warned on Wednesday to avoid speaking to witnesses or the family of the victims.

Postponing the matter to September 2013, Judge Frans Kgomo advised reporters to "please avoid" approaching witnesses for whatever reason.

"Please do not do that."

The court has sat for the past three weeks in the trial of a 16-year-old youth accused of shooting dead farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14, on their farm Naauwhoek, on 6 April 2012.

Kgomo said media interviews with witnesses, potential witnesses and even the family of the victims and the youth would only complicate the manner.

He said that if the practice persisted, he would exclude the media from the hearing.

"The family have given various interviews and there was even a mention of a discussion with the boy."

Kgomo addressed the prosecution and the defence team and said no complaint had been received yet.

"The media knows what to do. I do not want to be prescriptive and complicate the matter.

"If it comes to that, I would exclude them, if the red line was crossed," he said.

The prosecution and the defence agreed, but had nothing to add to the matter.

The youth has pleaded not guilty to the three murder charges and two additional charges, of which one is rape.

At the start of the trial, Kgomo held that the media could be present at the trial, but that the youth may not be identified.

The high court is sitting as a children's court in the matter.

Comments
  • WildCatSal - 2013-03-27 21:24

    This case is complicated enough and very painful for this family. Best that they are left alone by the media and meddling bystanders. Let's just hope it has a fair and just ending.

  • Bon Bon - 2013-03-27 21:33

    Why a 6 month postponement? Will probably be postponed again in September. New evidence going to come to light between now and then? Boy will probably be 25 by the time he is sentenced!

  • Shirley Craig - 2013-03-27 22:14

    Maybe they are postponing to do more investigations, as quite a bit of new evidence has come to light during the trial. I personally would still like to see the results from the rape swab to see whose DNA it is. This is a key piece of evidence which I hope is available to both prosecution and defense.

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