Mon, 17 Feb 2020

Krugersdorp killers sentenced to life in prison

19 Aug 2019, 22:10 GMT+10

The Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg has handed three of the so-called Krugersdorp killers multiple life sentences in connection with a series of murders and related crimes.

In June, Cecilia Steyn, Marcel Steyn and Zak Valentine were found guilty of several crimes linked to a murder spree which took place in and around Krugersdorp between 2012 and 2016.

The three were part of a group called Electus per Deus (Chosen by God). They murdered 11 people, including Valentine's wife Mikeila, in four years.

In delivering his sentence, Judge Ellem Jacob Franci said the accused committed heinous and barbaric crimes.

"The evil deeds committed by the accused were heinous, barbaric and bloodied crimes," he said.

Francis said the accused died a brutal death from multiple stab and bullet wounds, while one was set alight inside Valentine's sleek Mercedes Benz.

"Krugersdorp was struck by a tsunami. [Cecilia] Steyn was the driving force of the tsunami," he said.

Francis said Cecilia convinced Valentine and Marcel Steyn that the murders committed were being done for biblical reasons.

Marcel's mother, former school teacher Marinda Steyn, is serving 11 life terms and 115 years in prison, while her brother, Le Roux Steyn, who was also part of the group, is serving 35 years after he entered into a plea bargain with the State for his role in seven of the murders. Ten years of his sentence were suspended on condition that he testifies at the trial.

Another member of the group, John Barnard, who also testified during the trial, is serving 20 years behind bars, News24 earlier reported.

During arguments in mitigation and aggravation of their sentences, the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg heard that Marcel Steyn had the mindset of a 10-year-old.

Marcel's advocate argued that she was under Cecilia's "spell "during the crime spree.

Advocate Sharon Johnson said: "From the time accused number three (Marcel) came into contact with accused number two (Cecilia) and her mother placed her in her care, up until the time of her arrest and up until she decided to change her version and come clean to the court, accused number three was under the same manipulation, the same control, the same spell and the same state of mind that she was as a 10-year-old child."

Valentine's legal representative made a similar argument last week.

Social worker Annette Vergeer testified that she was not able to verify some information related to Cecilia Steyn's upbringing, saying the accused and her mother gave her contradictory evidence.

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