Krugersdorp killers: Trial postponed to Tuesday

2018-10-08 16:10
The alleged Krugersdorp killers. (Canny Maphanga, News24)

The alleged Krugersdorp killers. (Canny Maphanga, News24)

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The trial of alleged Krugersdorp killers Cecilia Steyn, 35, Zak Valentine, 32, and Marcel Steyn, 20, has been postponed to Tuesday.

The matter was scheduled to begin in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Monday.

The postponement is due to Marcel's lawyer's intent to make submissions regarding clarity on provisions of the Child Justice Act, as the accused was a minor when the crimes took place.

The trio, who have not yet pleaded, are facing charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, fraud and intimidation.

Presiding Judge Ellem Jacob Francis told the court that he "hopes that matter will be finalised within the 40-day period set".

The accused will remain in custody.

Background

The three were a part of five so-called Krugersdorp killers dubbed "Electus per Deus" (Chosen by God) who allegedly committed 11 murders between 2012 and 2016.

The five alleged killers – Cecilia, Valentine, Marinda Steyn and her children Le Roux and Marcel – were nabbed for various crimes around the Krugersdorp area.

Former teacher Marinda was sentenced in May to 11 life sentences and 115 years' imprisonment. The sentences will run concurrently.

Read: Another so-called 'Krugersdorp killer' given 11 life sentences

Le Roux, who is a State witness, was sentenced to an effective 25 years in May.

Both had entered plea bargains with the State.

According to the indictment, the murders began when alleged mastermind Cecilia, who was a friend of Marinda, had a fallout with pastor Ria Grunewald of the Overcomers Through Christ church (OTC), and allegedly recruited the four other accused to intimidate Grunewald.

"Grunewald was the leader of a group called OTC who focused on delivering people from satanic bondage. One of the group's focus points was also to provide training to its members," the indictment reads.

Killing spree

The group began with petty crimes. The first murder took place in 2012 when a member of the OTC church, Natacha Burger, was killed while she was visiting a neighbour. Valentine and Cecilia have been charged with the crime.

Read more: Friends and family stand trial for gruesome Krugersdorp killing spree

A month later another church member, Pastor Reginald Bendixen, was found dead in his Honeydew home.

In October 2012, Valentine's wife, Mikeila Valentine, was murdered after she allegedly expressed her uneasiness with the actions of the group.

In November 2015, 51-year-old Peter Meyer and 47-year-old Joan Meyer were allegedly killed by the accused.

The State previously alleged that in 2013, "the group incited three men to murder the son of Grunewald, Joshua", according to IOL.

By the year 2015 the group began targeting wealthy families and allegedly committing robbery and insurance fraud.

Read more on:    johannesbrug  |  courts  |  crime

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