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Griekwastad killer sentenced to 20 years

The 17-year-old was convicted for the murders of a farmer, his wife and their daughter in April 2012.

FILE: The 17-year-old was convicted for the murders of a farmer, his wife and their daughter in April 2012. Picture: RSC Inc.

CAPE TOWN - A Griekwastad teenager found guilty of murdering three people has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars.

The 17-year-old was convicted for the murders of a farmer, his wife and their daughter on their farm in April 2012.

Deon Steenkamp, his wife Christel and their 14-year-old daughter Marthella were shot dead on their Griekwastad farm on Good Friday two years ago.

The teenager was also found guilty of raping Marthella and lying to the police.

Police only arrested the boy several months after the gruesome murders.

Northern Cape High Court Judge President Frans Kgomo handed down the sentence in Kimberley earlier this afternoon.

Volksblad senior reporter Charné Kemp says the sentences will run concurrently.

"It's 20 years for each murder, 12 years for rape and four years for defeating the ends of justice."

She says the teenager displayed little emotion during his sentencing.

"He was taken down to the cells almost immediately after the sentence was handed down. The judge said because he is a youth, there are chances that he might be rehabilitated and that's why he didn't get the maximum sentence of 25 years."

Earlier today, Kgomo labelled the teen as a very "poor witness".

The state claimed the accused was alone when he attacked the Steenkamp family on their farm.

In his testimony late last year, the accused appeared to contradict himself.

He also testified he was left shocked by the triple murder.