'Krugersdorp killers' would drug, film and blackmail their victims
Ria Grunewald, testifying in the trial of the alleged Krugersdorp killers, said she was initially reluctant to testify in the trial of self-proclaimed reformed satanist Cecilia Steyn because she feared the mother of two "had something on her" in the form of incriminating video footage.
"I learned that they would invite students to parties, drug them until they fell asleep and when they woke up, they would show them footage that they took when they were asleep. That is how they blackmailed them into joining the satanic church," Grunewald said. "I'm afraid she's got something on me that I am not aware of."
She said she decided to testify because she wanted the truth to come out.
"I needed to tell the truth. I wanted the truth to come out," Grunewald said.
She was testifying in the trial of Cecilia Steyn, Marcel Steyn and former insurance broker Zac Valentine. The Krugersdorp neighbours and friends stand accused of involvement in the murder of 11 people from 2012 to 2016. The trio have pleaded not guilty. Three other people are serving lengthy jail terms in connection with the killing spree, including Marcel’s mother, Marinda Steyn.
The initial killings were allegedly sparked by a split in a church group called Overcomers Through Christ (OTC). The group’s aim was converting satanists to Christianity. Cecilia and her friends formed the Electus Per Deus (Chosen by God) group after the split.
Grunewald this week told the court that Cecilia had told her stories about her being a reformed satanist and that she had possessed certain powers. They met in 2007 and Grunewald played a role of being like a mother to Cecilia.
According to Grunewald, Cecilia told her that she knew about her birth long before she was born and that Grunewald was chosen by God to help her.
During cross-examination on Thursday, Grunewald told the court that when she met Cecilia, she was humble.
"Cecilia was subdued. She was a humble person in great pain and distress. She was a hurt human being," Grunewald said.
She said she believed that Cecilia was a Christian. However, she now knows that Cecilia had deceived her to believe everything she told her including that she was sick and she suffered attacks from demons.
Grunewald said she believed in satanism and that she was trained to deliver people from Satanism. "What happened to Cecilia [when she had spiritual attacks] is what we saw during our training."
She said Cecilia had told her that she had killed people when she was a Satanist.
"I don't have the figure (how many killings) but she said 'I committed many murders'."