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'I was an ANCWL and SACP member', says Krugersdorp murder accused

On trial for the Krugersdorp murders are, from left to right, Zac Valentine, Cecilia Steyn and Marcel Steyn.
On trial for the Krugersdorp murders are, from left to right, Zac Valentine, Cecilia Steyn and Marcel Steyn.
Image: Nomahlubi Jordaan

Cecilia Steyn has many tattoos on her body and each one of them has a meaning‚ including the one she has of the SA Communist Party (SACP) badge.

“I have an SACP badge ... I was a member of the SACP and the ANC Women’s League‚” she said‚ while explaining the meaning of each of the tattoos she has.

Cecilia‚ Zak Valentine and Marcel Steyn are accused of murdering 11 people from 2012 to 2016‚ as well as robbery‚ aggravated assault‚ racketeering‚ possession of an unlicensed firearm‚ fraud and identity theft. They have pleaded not guilty.

On Wednesday‚ during cross-examination at the South Gauteng High Court‚ prosecutor Gerrit Roberts asked Steyn to go through each of the tattoos she has on her body and explain their meaning.

“There is a deeper meaning of some kind behind a tattoo‚ you agree?” Roberts asked. She agreed.

Among the other tattoos she has is one of Jesus and a Chinese dragon.

“The Chinese dragon is for a friend of mine who passed away. She was born in the year of the dragon‚” Steyn said.

Other tattoos include an eye‚ a spider‚ a wolf and Egyptian symbols.

“The spider symbolises patience. There is nothing as patient as a spider and patience is something I need to learn.”

Steyn reiterated her claim that she and Ria Grunewald‚ who was the leader of their church group‚ called Overcomers Through Christ (OTC)‚ had a sexual relationship.

“We started off as friends‚ but the friendship grew and we became sexual partners‚” she said.

Asked what role she played in the relationship‚ Steyn said: “I was the dominant partner and she was the submissive one.”

When the court asked her to explain further‚ she said she was the “man” in the relationship and Grunewald was the woman.

Steyn‚ a wife and mother‚ said she had had sexual relationships with other women before the one with Grunewald.

Police believe the killings were sparked by a split in the OTC. The group’s aim was converting satanists to Christianity. Cecilia Steyn thereafter formed a breakaway group with a circle of friends. The first victims were members of the OTC church.

Steyn denied that the “high nights” on which‚ according to Grunewald‚ she would be attacked by demons‚ were spiritual.

“Ria [Grunewald] had a calendar and she knew when the high nights were. She would invite people over to her place. She would make us lunch. We’d eat‚ drink. Some people would show up. I would start not feeling well and that would be the last time I remember‚” Steyn said.

“The high nights were to keep me safe from not dying because I was losing a lot of blood apparently. They [the group] were praying for something they were seeing in front of them. The prayers were not for spiritual reasons.”


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