Death threats‚ demon cleansing and knives: Krugersdorp murder trial
Cecilia Steyn was a leader of a cult church and had a collection of knives‚ the South Gauteng High Court heard in testimony from witnesses on Tuesday.
Steyn‚ 37‚ Zak Valentine‚ 33‚ and Marcel Steyn‚ 20‚ are accused of involvement in the murders of 11 people from 2012 to 2016‚ as well as robbery‚ aggravated assault‚ racketeering‚ possession of an unlicensed firearm‚ fraud and identity theft. They have pleaded not guilty.
Marcel's mother‚ former high school teacher Marinda Steyn‚ 51‚ (no relation to Cecilia) was previously sentenced to multiple life terms for her involvement in the murder spree‚ dubbed the Krugersdorp murders. Marcel's brother Le Roux is also serving a 25-year jail term and has testified against the three remaining accused as a state witness.
Cecilia Steyn's former friend‚ who cannot be named‚ on Tuesday told the court: "She had a passion for knives. I gave her knives for her birthday."
She said she had given Cecilia about three knives in total.
The murders are believed to have started when Cecilia‚ a self-proclaimed child psychologist‚ had a fall-out with the pastor of the Overcomers Through Christ church.
Another witness‚ Karin Luitingh‚ 65‚ told the court that Cecilia had assessed whether she had demons after she was baptised when she joined the Overcomers group.
"After I was baptised‚ she looked at me and said I was clean‚" Luitingh said.
She said Cecilia could tell a person was clean by seeing a light above their head.
Luitingh said she joined Overcomers Through Christ after attending courses on knowing "your enemy" and knowing "your saviour". She said she joined after she had gone through "stuff" in her life. The group would get together for lectures and prayer‚ she said.
During one of their gatherings‚ Luitingh said her car was bombed. They were inside a house when they heard sounds of "gunshots or bombs".
"I did not immediately go out. I did when I was told that my car was one of those that were bombed."
She told the court that she received threatening text messages from an unknown person after a member of the group was murdered.
"The messages said: 'Who's next. Is it you?'"
The trial continues.
TIMELINE OF DEATH
July 26: Natacha Burger‚ 33‚ and her neighbour Joyce Boonzaaier‚ 68‚ had their throats slit in Centurion. The bodies were found in Boonzaaier's home.
August 14: Pastor Reginald Bendixen‚ 75‚ was stabbed and hacked to death at his home in Honeydew.
October 11: Mikeila Valentine‚ 25‚ was stabbed to death in the home she shared with her husband‚ Zak.
November 27: Peter Meyer‚ 51‚ and his wife Joan‚ 47‚ were stabbed to death at their home in Rudd Street‚ Noordheuwel.
December 6: Jarrod Jackson‚ 44‚ was burnt to death in a car in Petrus Steyn in the Free State.
January 27: Glen McGregor‚ 57‚ was shot on his smallholding in Randfontein.
May 10: Anthony Scholefield‚ 64‚ was strangled to death. His body was found in the boot of his car‚ which was abandoned on Premier Street in Krugersdorp. His belongings were stolen and R9‚600 was withdrawn from his bank account.
May 26: The body of Kevin McAlpine‚ 29‚ was found in the boot of his car on the corner of Sivewright and Francis streets in Krugersdorp. He was robbed of his wedding ring‚ laptop‚ shoes‚ watch and R1‚300 in cash. He had been married to 26-year-old Kezia for a year and she was six months pregnant.
May 31: The body of Hanle Lategan‚ 52‚ was discovered in the veld along the Randfontein River on a farm in Elandsvlei. Her cell phone‚ gold and diamond ring‚ watch and R3‚000 in cash were stolen. Her car was found in front of the Krugersdorp Private Hospital.