Wednesday was such a beautiful day. The skies were blue and the weather sunny following the rain the previous day. The veld was awash with the colour of spring flowers and hence the air smelt almost sweet.
Through the lens of my camera, it made a rather pretty, ever-so-normal picture. Except for the group of people walking down the narrow, winding farm road, the scene of heinous crime near Hartenbos, where a farmer was shot and killed, almost three years ago.
Among the group doing the in loco inspection were suited members of the judicial team, several police members and somewhere in the middle of the group, a tall man with an emotionless face, his hands and feet cuffed.
An observer, tasked to take a few photographs, I remained at a distance.
Bending down to pick a suring on the side of the road to chew on (an old habit of mine), I noticed how the chain of the foot-shackles worn by the suspect dragged in the gravel. A witness was pointing out particulars contained in her testimony to the judge.
Members of the procession stopped, talked, walked up and down the road several times.
One could overhear the police officers, trailing slightly behind the suspect, recount memories of the crime scene and from their comments, sensed their relief that the investigation had finally got to this point.
All the while the suspect, the only one of six men facing court thus far, was poker faced. At some point, he relieved himself in bushes beside the road. Hiding my searching eyes behind my camera lens, I was trying to find something redeemable in his gaze, but it gave away nothing.
It was strange to think, that of everyone present, who can simply collect, present and dissect the evidence found, he might be the only one who knows exactly what went down that day.
A small detail at the scene, that remained with me all week, was seeing farmhands simply going about their daily work. Unperturbed.
Among them was the widow of the murdered farmer, trying to focus on the task at hand despite the posse patrolling the road leading up to the farm buildings.
One can only imagine what must have gone through her mind, especially as the suspect walked by.
How she must long for answers or maybe the ability to turn back time. For her, regardless of how the case pans out, life has changed forever. For the rest of us, it will be front page news once, possibly twice. And eventually, it will simply be "case closed".