A convicted murderer gave chilling evidence in court on Wednesday regarding the role she played in the murders of 11 people by an alleged satanic cult in the Krugersdorp area
Marinda Steyn told the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg how she participated in the brutal killings but denied that the killings were satanic.
Marinda, a former school teacher, is currently serving 11 life terms and an additional 115 years in jail. Her son, Le Roux Steyn, turned State witness and is currently serving an effective 25 years. The two were separately sentenced in May.
Marinda’s daughter, Marcel Steyn, 20, Zack Valentine, 33, and Cecilia Steyn have pleaded not guilty and are standing trial.
The three were part of five alleged Krugersdorp killers dubbed “Electus per Deus” (Chosen by God) who allegedly committed 11 murders between 2012 and 2016.
Marinda denied that Cecilia was a satanist and the ringleader of their group of friends who met regularly at Cecilia’s flat. She also denied evidence given by witnesses, including Le Roux, that implicated Cecilia in the 11 killings
Alleged ringleader had ‘accepted Jesus’
She claimed that they met regularly as a group of friends in Cecilia’s bedroom.
Marinda described Cecilia as her best friend and said the relationship was mutual.
“I don’t think she was a satanist. It depends on how you define the term. I know that she mixed with wrong people in school. At school she was a rebel, she wanted to be like a rebel. She once beat a teacher in school. I don’t think that personality continued after she got married.
“Cecilia was a Christian. She accepted Jesus and really knows God,” she said.
She said at some stage, Valentine told her that she wanted to kill Natacha Burger, who was a member of Overcomers Through Christ Church who was being mentored by Pastor Reginald Bendixien. Burger was murdered in October 2012.
“I didn’t take him seriously at the time. Zack (Valentine) and Mikeila (Valentine’s wife) later phoned me and said they have killed Natacha together with an old lady. The old lady’s throat was slit. I advised them to clean the scene and ensure that their car was taken for a valet. I told them to ensure that no one knows about the murders.”
‘I wanted to kill this man’
She said she and Valentine had killed Bendixien because he had manipulated her friend Ria Grunewald.
Bendixien was killed in November 2012.
“In my book he (Bendixien) was a bad man. I went to Zack to help me kill Pastor Reg. I blackmailed him that if he didn’t help I will tell people that he killed Natasha and an old lady.”
Marinda and Valentine, who was dressed in a police uniform, headed to Bendixien’s home in Honeydew and killed him.
“Zack had an axe and was standing behind Bendixien while I was talking to him. He hit him over his head with an axe and he fell. I told Zack to stop because I wanted to kill this man. I lifted his jersey and stabbed him in the stomach. I saw blood coming out and I went for his throat,” she said.
Marinda denied that Valentine allegedly killed Mikeila because she wanted to quit their “group of friends”. Instead, she said she was killed because she wanted to report him to the police and was unfaithful.
She also testified how she, Le Roux and Valentine killed Peter Meyer, 51, and Joan Meyer, 47, in November 2015 when they pretended to seek financial advice from the deceased. The plan was to rob the couple of R46m which they had in their safe.
Instead, they left empty-handed after killing the Meyers.
She said on December 16, 2015, Le Roux and John Barnard, who is currently serving a 20-year-jail term, played a role in helping Valentine to fake his own death.
They drugged a man and later set him alight inside Valentine’s car in Petrus Steyn, Free State.
The trial continues.