(By Vanessa Papas)
In July 2012 police responded to a grisly murder in Centurion that had the makings of a horror movie…
The bodies of Natacha Burger‚ 33‚ and her neighbour Joyce Boonzaaier‚ 68‚ were found in a pool of blood. Both women and been brutally stabbed to death in a secure complex.
Just one month later another murder took place. A much-loved clergyman, writer and singer, Reginald Bendixen‚ 75‚ was stabbed and hacked to death at his home in Honeydew. Then Mikeila Valentine‚ 25‚ was found stabbed to death in the home she shared with her husband.
Working with former Satanists
An investigation led police to believe that the first two victims – Burger and Boonzaaier – were involved in a religious ministerial group working with former Satanists and that their deaths were believed to be linked to the dark underworld of devilry. They began piecing together the possibility that the murders could be somehow linked.
#KrugersdorpMoorde: Cecilia Steyn (37), Zak Valentine (33), Marinda Steyn (51), haar seun Le Roux Steyn (22) en dogter Marcel (20) Maandag in die hof op 32 aanklagte van onder meer moord, roof met verswarende omstandighede, diefstal, bedrog, intimidasie en rampokkery. pic.twitter.com/3yI17csbPT
— Huisgenoot (@huisgenoot) April 16, 2018
The deaths didn’t stop there – despite close to three years of quiet. Other bodies began to pile up, including Peter Meyer‚ 51‚ and his wife Joan‚ 47‚ who were both stabbed to death at their home in Rudd Street‚ Noordheuwel; Jarrod Jackson‚ 44‚ who was burnt to death in a car in Petrus Steyn in the Free State; Glen McGregor‚ 57‚ who was shot on his smallholding in Randfontein; Anthony Scholefield‚ 64‚ who was strangled to death; Kevin McAlpine‚ 29‚ who was found dead in the boot of his car on the corner of Sivewright and Francis streets in Krugersdorp; and Hanlé Lategan‚ 52‚ who was discovered dead in the veld along the Randfontein River on a farm in Elandsvlei.
By the end of May 2016 Krugersdorp police were working on 11 grisly murder cases and had their sights set on six possible suspects
- Cecilia Steyn‚ 35 (a self-proclaimed ‘psychologist’ with a long history of emotional and psychological issues)
- Zak Valentine‚ 32 (an insurance broker who graduated from North-West University cum laude)
- Marinda Steyn‚ 50 (a high school teacher and friend of Cecilia)
- Marcel Steyn‚ 19 (a student with a passion for reading)
- Leroux Steyn‚ 21 and John Barnard‚ 40 (who had worked for one of the victims for many years) were arrested
Krugersdorp multiple-murder trial date confirmed
Eleven murders, identity theft, fraud and even aggravated assault – these are the charges facing the Steyns and Zak Valentine https://t.co/vI5EOcD6Zu pic.twitter.com/UNE5zy55dZ
— BedfordEdenvaleNews (@BedfordEdenvale) April 12, 2018
The group were charged with murdering 11 people from 2012 to 2016‚ robbery‚ aggravated assault‚ possession of an unlicensed firearm‚ fraud and identity theft.
While more evidence is coming to light by the hour, it’s understood that the murders were fuelled by hatred after Cecilia Steyn had a falling out with the pastor of the ‘Overcomers Through Christ’ church.
Monday saw the start of the trial in the high court in Johannesburg, however the trial was postponed to May after two of the accused indicated that they want to negotiate plea bargains.