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The Griekwastad Murders
The Griekwastad Murders
Sentencing Document from the Northern Cape High Court
The Griekwastad Murders

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The pre-sentencing hearing continues...

The pre-sentencing hearing in the Griekwastad murder trial will continue today in the Northern Cape High Court in Kimberley. Judge President Frans Kgomo placed the matter on the court’s roll until Friday, the 6th of June. However, it is unclear whether the testimony of the pre-sentencing witnesses will be completed by then. Therefore Kgomo might bring another postponement so that he may reflect on a suitable sentence for the 17 -year-old murderer and rapist. Thus far the boy's guardian, Bennie Heckroodt, and Deon Steenkamp's cousin’s wife, Marina, testified in mitigation of sentence on his behalf. Officials of the National Institute for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of Offenders (NICRO) have also testified and made recommendations on an appropriate sentence.

The prosecutor, Advocate Hannes Cloete, has called two witnesses to testify in aggravation of sentence about the boy's arrogance and personality changes. The two witnesses were both teachers from his old school in Bloemfontein, Brian du Plessis and John-Henry Dykman. They respectively taught the boy Afrikaans and science at Grey College. Dykman was also the boy's housemaster and testified about the behavioural changes he witnessed. The head of the Oranje Girls' High School where Marthella Steenkamp went to school, Mariehetta Matthee, also testified and told the court what the effect of Marthella's murder had on her fellow pupils. A correctional officer and two social workers testified about the boy's behaviour in the Kimberley prison. Attorney Riaan Bode, for the defence, is expected to still call Hanlie Heckroodt and forensic youth criminologist, doctor Eon Sonnekus, to testify.

According to one of my sources close to the investigation, Cloete will only call one more witness to testify in aggravation of sentence. It's expected to be a police psychologist, but the boy and his supporters made her work hard for her by not allowing him to be alone with her. He was also told not to speak about the murders, because it may harm his future appeal if he says anything that makes it appear as though he admits guilt. The boy, who was convicted on the 27th of March, still maintains he is innocent. According to a recent report in Volksblad, Bode has already appointed an advocate from Bloemfontein to work on their appeal because it must be submitted within 14 days after sentencing is completed. According to the Child Justice Act, a minor receives an automatic right to appeal and therefore the boy won’t need to first apply for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence.

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User Comments:
Re: The pre-sentencing hearing continues... - by Celeste van der Merwe
June 10 2014 17:52:29

just finishedvthe book. Well done. I feel as if theres a vacuum after rhe trials. Cant find todays happenings. 10 06 14.

Re: The pre-sentencing hearing continues... - by Bonita
June 12 2014 21:55:06

Why is it that a whole heap of people continue to look out for the boys best interest when he comes out of prison. If he is now 17 years old and comes out in 25 years (maybe) . That makes him middle forties. So now it appears a trust fund must be set up for him so he has money, he needs to be rehabilitated etc etc. well who looked out for his young sister or his parents when they were snuffed out. What about his poor aged grand father that has died in this process. An old man that lost his son and took this whole horrible devastating sad situation to his grave. What about his grandmother that is aged and got to manage this at this late stage of her life when she should be retiring with grand kids. Who looks out for them. What about his parents siblings. I can carry on and on. It makes me angry that this now seems to be all about his well being. Why is it that there seems to be an element of people that seem intent to protect him. Why do some people that report on this so sad situation feel empathetic to him. What about those that were killed. Am in in the wrong forum

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