Krugersdorp killer wore 'throw-away' clothes from Pep to stab pastor

28 November 2018 - 15:37 By NOMAHLUBI JORDAAN and and Iavan Pijoos
High school teacher Marinda Steyn in the dock of the High Court in Johannesburg earlier, on May 16, 2018, where she was sentenced for her involvement in a killing spree on Gauteng's West Rand.
High school teacher Marinda Steyn in the dock of the High Court in Johannesburg earlier, on May 16, 2018, where she was sentenced for her involvement in a killing spree on Gauteng's West Rand.
Image: Nomahlubi Jordaan

Convicted killer Marinda Steyn told the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday that she orchestrated the murder of a semi-retired pastor because she wanted him dead.

“I wanted to kill him because I wanted him dead,” she testified.

Marinda, who is serving 11 life terms for her role in the Krugersdorp murders, took the stand on Wednesday in defence of her “best friend” Cecilia Steyn.

Cecilia, Zak Valentine and Marinda’s daughter, Marcel Steyn, are accused of murdering 11 people between 2012 and 2016. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Le Roux Steyn — Marinda’s son — is already serving 25 years behind bars.

Marinda, who pleaded guilty to the murders, told the court on Wednesday that she and Valentine had killed pastor Reginald Bendixen at his home on August 13 2012.

During her testimony Marinda, who appeared calm, spoke fluently.

She wanted him dead because he apparently manipulated Ria Grunewald, who was the leader of the Overcomers Through Christ (OTC).

“I wanted to kill him because he changed her [Grunewald]. Ria became very bitter and in my eyes he was a very bad man. I also heard rumours of him abusing his wife,” said Marinda.

She had blackmailed Valentine into helping her kill Bendixen.

“I went to Zak and said I want to kill this man. He was the devil in her [Grunewald's] life. I said if you don't help me kill this man, I will tell people that you killed Nat [Natacha Buger],” she said.

Marinda said she and Zak went to Bendixen’s house in Honeydew and introduced themselves as police officers at the security gate.

“We said we were from the police, we went inside. Zak was wearing a police uniform and I was wearing clothes from Pep stores that I could throw away afterwards.

“I was busy talking to him [Bendixen]. Zak was behind him with an axe. He was going to hit him with the blunt side of the axe and I was going to stab him.”

She said when Valentine signalled that he was ready to attack Bendixen, she nodded her head.

“Zak hit him but he did not want to stop. I told him to stop hitting him because I wanted to stab him. I was focused on his tummy. I saw he was still bleeding. I stabbed him until the bleeding stopped.”

She said she never told anyone that she had killed Bendixen.

“I would never have wanted anyone to know. I was a teacher and a mother. It would have caused Cecilia's death if I had to tell her.”

She told the court that she had met Cecilia at a sermon that Grunewald was preaching at in 2008.

“She’s my very best friend,” Marinda said about Cecilia.

She described Cecilia as a sickly person, who was in constant need of medical care.

“She had very poor health. I was there for her when she was in hospital.

“Her lungs were weak and she had viruses on them. That influenced everything. She would get sick easily. From what I understood, when she got upset, she would struggle to breathe,” said Marinda.

Cecilia — whom she said was never a satanist but merely a rebel at school who mixed with the wrong crowd — had to take 30 pills a day for her ailments.

“She got mixed up with wrong people. She wanted to look evil, the goth look. She even hit one of our teachers.

“I would regard her as a Christian. She knows God. She prays. She has the fruit of the spirit in her life.”

She rubbished the testimony of her son, Le Roux, that Cecilia was a satanist.

“He lives in a world of his own.”

She said Le Roux had lied about her moving to look after Cecilia at a complex. “I moved closer for convenience, not to look after her. I wanted to be close.”

She said Le Roux had also lied about explosives being manufactured at Cecilia’s flat.

“It’s not true. It would not be possible because we were all over the place.”

The trial continues.