Alleged "mastermind" in brutal Mooinooi murder still doesn't know why he's in custody

Alleged "mastermind" in brutal Mooinooi murder still doesn't know why he's in custody.
Alleged "mastermind" in brutal Mooinooi murder still doesn't know why he's in custody.
Image: STOCK

The alleged mastermind behind the murder of a couple from Mooinooi in North West on Thursday again claimed that he had no idea why he was in custody.

“To tell you the truth‚ I do not know really‚” the 52-year-old owner of a panel beating company said after Magistrate Semakuleng Thamage asked him if he knew why he is in custody.

On Friday‚ state prosecutor Christine Molautsi asked the man - who is accused number two in the casee - if he knew he allegedly murdered.

“No‚ I don’t know‚” he replied.

The man – who cannot be named until he has pleaded as this is a sexual offenses case – is one of eight people accused of brutally slaying 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. They are also accused of keeping the couple in a container on one of the accused’s property and torturing them before they were murdered.

The second accused testified on Thursday that a police colonel requested him to accompany them to the police station because they want to show him something. When they arrived‚ he was locked up. He said he was only told weeks later that he was accused to killing two women.

The second accused managed his panel beating company from a property that belonged to one of the victims.

“I told him [the police colonel] that if something happens on my farm‚ then they must ask the people who live there‚ because a lot of nights we don’t go home and sleep at the shop.”

He said on Thursday he did not know any of the witnesses in the case. Prosecutor Molautsi asked him how he would respond if the state has evidence he sent threatening messages to witnesses.

“My attorney can draw the phone records and show what the truth is‚” he replied.

Meanwhile‚ it emerged that the first accused might be connected to another attack on a farm that happened close to Rustenburg in 2014. The accused was arrested in January 2017.

The second accused testified he knew one of his employees‚ the first accused‚ was charged with murder of a woman on a farm near Rustenburg in 2014. The charges were later withdrawn. The second accused met the victim when he sold his scrap metal businesses to her.