4 convicted for murder of Mooinooi same-sex couple whose bodies were burnt beyond recognition

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Mooinooi couple Anisha and Joey Van Niekerk who were last seen alive in December (Supplied, Facebook)
Mooinooi couple Anisha and Joey Van Niekerk who were last seen alive in December (Supplied, Facebook)
  • Anisha and Joey van Niekerk were raped and killed in December 2017.
  • Their bodies were taken to a nearby river where they were burnt beyond recognition.
  • Sentencing proceedings are expected to commence on 15 October.

Four people tried for the murder of Mooinooi same-sex couple Anisha and Joey van Niekerk, who were raped and killed in December 2017, were convicted in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Mercia Strydom, 24, Aaron Sithole, 27, his brother Jack Sithole, 21, and Alex Modau, 39, killed the couple before taking their bodies to a nearby river where they were burnt beyond recognition, National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said in a statement.

Their burnt-out car was found in Magaliesburg six days later.

Strydom's husband, Koos, believed to be the mastermind behind the murders, killed himself last year, News24 reported. He had been found dead in his single cell at Kgosi Mampuru 111 Prison in Pretoria.

According to court testimony, Strydom gave the order for the couple to be killed after they had signed a bogus contract stating he had bought their property on which he ran a panel-beating business, IOL reported.

This after he had tired of paying the Van Niekerks rent, Strydom's son testified during the trial.

Mahanjana said the Strydoms were leasing a portion of the plot and had expressed a wish to buy it.

"Upon their arrival, the Van Niekerks were coerced into signing the contract and were assaulted with the assistance of the two Sitholes, Mudau and Moses Rakuba. The two women were also raped by the Sitholes."                                                                          

The brothers and Modau took the couple's bankcards and forced them to disclose their PIN codes.

"They later withdrew money from their bank accounts and bought goods," said Mahanjana.

The couple was killed and their remains set alight.

The Sithole brothers were found guilty of two counts of murder, rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, theft and defeating the ends of justice.

Modau was convicted on two counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, theft and defeating the ends of justice.

Strydom was found guilty of two counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, theft, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition and defeating the ends of justice.

Rakuba had turned State witness.

Sentencing proceedings are expected to commence on 15 October.

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