76 witnesses called for Steenkamp trial
Kimberley - No less than 76 witnesses will be called by the State to testify in the triple-murder trial following the deaths of three members of the Steenkamp family who were shot in cold blood on their farm Naauwhoek about 10km from Griquatown on Good Friday.
Amongst the witnesses are four forensic laboratory experts from Pretoria and Cape Town, 13 police officers, fingerprint specialists, a Grey College witness as well as family members.
The magistrate, Steve Morolong, postponed the case in the Griquatown Children’s Court on Monday.
The trial will be heard in the Northern Cape High Court from March 11 to 29 next year.
The State handed over an electronic copy of the court files to the defence on Monday morning.
State advocate Hannes Cloete, from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, indicated that the State was ready to proceed with dates that were provisionally set for the end of November and the first week of December.
“However, the case will not be able to start due to the unavailability of the defence advocate, Willem Coetzee, during these dates.”
Cloete will argue that the murders were premeditated.
The State will also apply for leave to appeal the decision of the magistrate, Oswald Mazwi, to grant the accused R5 000 bail, on Thursday in chambers in the Northern Cape High Court.
The 16-year-old boy’s legal representative, Stoffel de Jager, requested that bail be extended until the court date in March next year.
The teenager is standing trial for the murders of Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and their daughter Marthella, 14, on April 6.
The family had attended a church service over the Easter weekend after which they had dropped in to visit one of their relatives.
The State said it has evidence that Christel sent an SMS to her sister shortly before the murders.
According to the charge sheet, the accused had 20 minutes (6.34pm to 6.54pm) in which to commit the crimes as well as to drive to the police station where he handed over two firearms - a .22 rifle and a .357 revolver, that were found on the scene.
The firearms were transported on the back of a bakkie.
The boy’s face, hands, feet and clothes were covered in blood splatters upon his arrival at the Griquatown police station.
The police found the bodies of the three slain Steenkamp family members in the dining and television rooms. Nothing inside the house was disturbed and no items were stolen from the house.
Judging from the nature of the wounds, the investigating officer reported that the three family members were killed “execution style” because they died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to their heads and bodies.
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