'I raised her well,' says father of Krugersdorp murder 'mastermind'

Cecilia Steyn and her two co-accused will hear judgment in their murder trial on Monday.
Cecilia Steyn and her two co-accused will hear judgment in their murder trial on Monday.
Image: Gallo Images/Felix Dlangamandla

The father of the alleged mastermind behind a murderous spree in Krugersdorp that left 11 people dead says he raised her well and believes she is innocent.

Cecilia Steyn and her two co-accused will learn their fate when judgment is handed down in the South Gauteng High Court on Monday.

Piet Brandt, her father, told the Sunday Times that he wished he could take the stand and tell the judge that his daughter, dubbed "the bride of Satan", is innocent.

“I would like to go and ask, from the bottom of my heart, if I may go in the witness box … I raised her well,” he said.

Steyn, Zak Valentine and Marcel Steyn 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.

They were all part of Electus Per Deus, a group that viewed itself as "chosen by God" and which allegedly killed 11 people between 2012 and 2016.

The first people allegedly murdered by the group were Natacha Burger, 33, and Joy Boonzaier, 63.

Cecilia, with a Holy Trinity knot on her necklace, told the Sunday Times during an interview at the Johannesburg Correctional Centre that she loved books, collected knives and had renewed her faith in God.

“At the end of the day, if I am punished or not punished, I have to live with myself. I am not to say I did something which I did not do. I am not going to rape my conscience,” she said.

Speaking about her knife collection, she said: “My favourite knife is one a friend gave to me, which is the one the [US] Navy Seals get. It was his. It was a dive knife…”

Her former friend, Candice Rijavec, told the court during the trial that Cecilia had been known as the “bride of Satan” and had claimed that her spirit could leave her body.

Cecilia laughed off these claims in the Sunday Times interview, saying: “Even if I am a vampire or I am witch, is that against the law?” 

During closing arguments in the trial, prosecutor Gerrit Roberts SC described the "mastermind" behind the group of killers as a "witch" and argued that everything in the case revolved around her.

"At the top was the mastermind, Cecilia Steyn, who received all the benefits and proceeds of the crimes, who was giving instructions to the subordinates and who made sure that she never dirtied her hands by becoming directly involved in the criminal activities of her subordinates," he said.

Marcel Steyn, the youngest of the "Krugersdorp Killers", told the court: "My mother said if I don't take part they will get rid of me."

Her mother, Marinda, has already been sentenced to 11 life terms for the killing spree. 

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