Alleged mastermind behind murder of Mooinooi couple appears in court

Joey and Anisha van Niekerk
Joey and Anisha van Niekerk
Image: Supplied

The alleged mastermind behind the murder of a couple from Mooinooi in North West stunned the Brits Magistrate’s Court on Friday when he claimed he had no idea who it was accused of raping‚ murdering and kidnapping.

The man – who cannot be named until he has pleaded as this is a sexual offenses case – is one of eight people accused of the murder of Joey and Anisha van Niekerk‚ a married same sex couple‚ who disappeared from their smallholding outside Mooinooi on December 10 last year.

It was on the eve of the funeral of Joey’s father‚ which they were set to attend in Pretoria – but they never arrived. Their burnt-out car was found on December 16 in the Magaliesburg area. DNA tests are being conducted on bones discovered in bushes to establish if the bodies belong to the two women.

The charges against the six men and two women include kidnapping‚ rape‚ house break-in‚ murder and robbery with aggravated circumstances.

In court on Friday‚ accused number two‚ made the startling admission that he didn’t know the identify of the victim in the case he was being tried on.

“Sir‚ is Anisha connected to this case?” state prosecutor Christine Molautsi asked him.

“Anisha? Is it this case?” the second accused asked.

“Yes‚ sir‚” Molautsi replied.

“No‚ I don’t know‚” the accused said.

Later in the same line of questioning Molautsi asked the man if he knows on what charges he was arrested. The second accused said rape‚ murder and kidnapping.

“Do you know who is it alleged that you killed?” Molautsi asked.

“No‚ I don’t know‚” he replied.

He conceded that he did not understand some of the questions the state prosecutor asked him under cross-examination in his bail application.

The eight suspects have also been accused of torturing the couple. The victims were kept in a container on one of the suspect’s property and tortured before they were murdered.

The second accused‚ 52-years-old and owner of a panel beating business‚ testified on Thursday that he was “good friends” and had a “good relationship” with the couple.

He testified the last time he saw the Van Niekerk’s was on Sunday‚ December 10. He said Anisha’s brother stopped by his workshop the next day.

On Friday he continued his testimony about the alleged police brutality he suffered. He was hit on his nose‚ ribs‚ right ear‚ the left side of his face was bruised and his left index finger was broken after the police allegedly slapped‚ kicked and hit him and also hit him with a pipe-like object. He claimed that he urinated blood for two weeks after the damage to his ribs.

He said since his arrest he has not received his medication for a condition which causes his white blood cells to eat his red blood cells. He showed the court the spots on his hand which developed since his arrest in December.

He testified if he is released on bail he will fix his business‚ farm and ensure the five of his eight children that live with him attend school.

The case resumes on Thursday‚ January 25 at 9am.

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