Krugersdorp killers strangled most victims to death

10 October 2018 - 15:50
By Iavan Pijoos
Zak Valentine, Le Roux Steyn are part of a group of six people accused of carrying out 11 vicious murders‚ are seen in the High Court in Johannesburg.
Image: ALON SKUY Zak Valentine, Le Roux Steyn are part of a group of six people accused of carrying out 11 vicious murders‚ are seen in the High Court in Johannesburg.

State witness in the Krugersdorp murder trial Le Roux Steyn told the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday that most of the victims were strangled to death.

Le Roux was testifying in the trial of Cecilia Steyn‚ 37‚ Zak Valentine‚ 33‚ and Marcel Steyn‚ 20‚ who pleaded not guilty to 32 counts‚ including murder‚ robbery with aggravating circumstances‚ fraud and intimidation.

Former high school teacher Marinda Steyn‚ 51‚ was sentenced to 11 life terms for the Krugersdorp murder spree.

Le Roux was also part of the group‚ but entered into a plea bargain with the state in May. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison for each of the seven counts of murder he was convicted of.

Ten years of his sentence were suspended on condition that he testify in the trial.

They were part of the Electus Per Deus (Chosen by God) group. The group is accused of murdering 11 people between 2012 and 2016.

Most of the murders were orchestrated in a similar fashion.

The victims‚ many of them financial advisors and estate agents‚ were lured to 17 Cosanna flats in Krugersdorp where Marinda Steyn lived.

In most cases‚ they were strangled to death by Le Roux.

Their first victim was Glen McGregor‚ who was approached by Marinda under the false pretence that she needed assistance with a tax matter. Marinda‚ Le Roux and John Barnard met him at his home in Avalonia near Krugersdorp.

During the meeting Marinda shot McGregor. He was still alive and was forced to provide his banking details. They made an electronic transfer of R6‚000 from his account to a Capitec account of Marinda.

Le Roux said he met their second victim‚ Anthony Scholefield‚ at the Key West Mall in Krugersdorp.

Scholefield was also lured to 17 Cosanna flats. On his arrival‚ Marinda pointed a firearm at him and instructed him to lie down.

Le Roux said he tied his hands and feet with a rope. Scholefield was also forced to provide his banking details.

"My mother [Marinda] told me that it was now time to strangle him. I strangled him."

They then dropped his car with his body near a primary school in Krugersdorp. The key was left in the ignition. Le Roux said he walked to Krugersdorp West and maxed the bank cards at Delta Spar.

He said he returned the following day and withdrew money at ATMs and also bought himself and Cecilia jackets‚ earphones‚ cigarettes‚ and cool drinks.

"I bought her a red jacket. She [Cecilia] was wearing the jacket to court a couple of times."

An amount of R16‚600 was withdrawn using Scholefield's various bank cards.

Just like Scholefield‚ financial broker Kevin McAlpine and Remax estate agent Christina Lategan were also lured to the flat and forced to hand over their banking details.

They withdrew R1‚300 from McAlpine wife's bank account. An amount of R3‚000 was withdrawn from the bank account of Lategan.

Both McAlpine and Lategan were strangled to death by Le Roux.

McAlpine's body was wrapped in black plastic bags‚ put into a Pikitup dustbin and loaded in the back of his car. Le Roux said they left his car in an area in Krugersdorp which was known for drugs and prostitution.

"Finding the car in an area like that was easier."

Lategan's body was wrapped in a red blanket‚ put in Marinda's Hyundai i10 and dumped near the Randfontein cemetery.

Le Roux was able to identify several firearms placed before him by the state. He said one of them was used to shoot McGregor.

Earlier‚ Le Roux told the court how they murdered Barnard's employer‚ Peter Meyer‚ and his wife back in 2015. De Villiers lived in Pretoria. The group tied him up with cable ties and asked for money and valuables.

Le Roux said the man said he had no money. Le Roux said Valentine stabbed both Meyer and his wife‚ they took off the cable ties and left the scene with R600. Le Roux also confessed to murdering a homeless man‚ Jarod Jackson‚ to fake the death of Valentine to claim his Discovery life policy.

In December 2016‚ 42-year-old Barnard was sentenced to 20 years in jail after he pleaded guilty to 13 charges‚ including murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. He will also be a state witness.

The trial continues on Thursday.