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Krugersdorp murders: 'I was sure they would kill me if I didn't take part'

Marcel Steyn in the South Gauteng High Court on May 13 2019.
Marcel Steyn in the South Gauteng High Court on May 13 2019.
Image: TimesLIVE/Iavan Pijoos

Marcel Steyn says she did not leave the group implicated in the Krugersdorp murders because she was afraid they would "get rid" of her.

"My mother said if I don't take part they will get rid of me like Mikeila," she told the South Gauteng High Court on Tuesday.

"I was sure that they would kill me because they threatened my brother several times and they killed Mikeila. I would be no different," Marcel said.

Mikeila Valentine was the late wife of Zak Valentine - one of the people implicated in the killing spree. She was hit with a hammer and killed in a stabbing frenzy at her Ruimsig‚ Johannesburg‚ home in October 2012.

Marcel - along with Cecilia Steyn, 37, and Zak, 33 - have pleaded not guilty to 32 counts, including murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, fraud and intimidation. Her brother Le Roux Steyn entered into a plea bargain with the state in 2018.

Her mother, Marinda Steyn, 51, has already been sentenced to 11 life terms.

They were all part of the Electus Per Deus group who believed they were "chosen by God". The group allegedly killed 11 people between 2012 and 2016.

Marcel explained to the court that she could not leave the group because she was afraid they would find and kill her.

"I felt we were surrounded, whether by Cecilia's powers or the people who were still in the satanic church.

"I was sure if I didn't take part, Cecilia would know," she said.

The court has previously heard that Cecilia claimed to have supernatural powers and that she could read minds.

I never actually killed anyone. I was there but I didn't kill anyone
Marcel Steyn

Marcel said she did not participate in the killings. "I tried to not be involved as deeply. I never actually killed anyone. I was there but I didn't kill anyone.

"Where I could, I tried to withdraw but in a way they would not notice."

Pressed on why she took part in planning the murders, Marcel said she had no excuse she could give to avoid taking part.

"There was nothing I could use as an excuse. I didn't have extra-mural activities."

"I put it to you that you decided on your own accord to get involved in those atrocities," said counsel for Cecilia, Andre Coetzee.

"I don't agree. That is incorrect," Marcel responded.

The court heard that Cecilia and Marinda gave instructions on how the murders would be carried out.

Coetzee, however, said Cecilia would deny that she was involved in the planning of the murders.

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