Krugersdorp killers trial: Court hears mastermind was a 'witch'

Cecilia Steyn in court. (File, Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)
Cecilia Steyn in court. (File, Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

One of the alleged Krugersdorp killers, Cecilia Steyn, was a "42nd generational witch", a witness told the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

"Cecilia is a 42nd generational witch and came out of satanism. We had to pray for her and protect her from the satanic church," Le Roux Steyn testified.

He was giving evidence in the trial of Cecilia Steyn, 37, Zak Valentine, 33, and Marcel Steyn, 20, who pleaded not guilty to 32 counts, including murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, fraud and intimidation.

The three were part of the so-called Krugersdorp killers, also dubbed Electus Per Deus (Chosen by God). The Krugersdorp killers were a group of five people who committed a string of crimes around Krugersdorp from 2012 to 2016.

Read more here: 25 years in jail for one of the so-called 'Krugersdorp killers'

Le Roux was also a part of the group, but he entered into a plea bargain with the State and in May, he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for each of the seven counts of murder he was convicted of. Ten years of his sentence were suspended on condition that he testifies in the trial.

In May, the witness' mother, former teacher Marinda Steyn, was sentenced to 11 life terms and 115 years imprisonment, according to a previous News 24 report.

Where it all began

In his evidence on Tuesday, Le Roux said he first met Cecilia in 2008 and she was known to him as his mother's friend. She later became "like an aunt" to him.

In 2011/2012 he, his sister Marcel Steyn and his mother, Marinda Steyn, moved to Cossana Flats to be closer to Cecilia, who was "sickly".

"I visited Cecilia on a daily basis because she was a part of our ministry (Chosen by God)," Le Roux explained.

The Chosen by God group was initially a part of a ministry which fought against satanism, called Overcomers Through Christ (OTC). The court heard that Cecilia allegedly had a fallout with OTC leader Ria Grunewald and as a result, formed her own ministry, Chosen by God. The ministry's main purpose was to avenge Grunewald.

It was alleged that Cecilia planned to attack anyone who was close to Grunewald.

According to the witness, Cecilia paraded as an individual who wanted out of the satanic church and used this as motivation to murder several people.

Le Roux used the murder of Natascha Burger (a friend of Ria Grunewald) as an example.

"Cecilia led us to believe that Natascha Burger was making prayers against children who were trying to come out of satanism," he told the court.

Le Roux told the court that every act Chosen by God had carried out was according to Cecilia's instructions, although she was never physically present when crimes were committed.

She would receive feedback once instructions were carried out.

"Every time we completed a task, whether it was the lighting of bombs under cars or a murder, we would report back to Cecilia," Le Roux said.

"It was seen as an accomplishment for the ministry," he added.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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