Krugersdorp Killers: Court hears only mastermind gained financially from ministry's crimes
Only one of the so-called "Krugersdorp Killers", alleged mastermind Cecilia Steyn, gained financially from the string of crimes the five are accused of having committed from 2012 to 2016, the South Gauteng High Court heard on Thursday.
First witness Le Roux Steyn, 22, was testifying during the trial of three members of the alleged gang: Cecilia Steyn, 37, Zak Valentine, 33, and Marcel Steyn, 20, who are accused of having committed 11 murders.
Former teacher Marinda Steyn, mother of Marcel and Le Roux, was sentenced in May to 11 life sentences and 115 years' imprisonment. The sentences will run concurrently.
Le Roux, who turned State witness, was sentenced to an effective 25 years in May.
"We were all led to believe the same things, that we were to help ex-satanists with the money that we contributed to the ministry," Le Roux told the court during cross-examination.
'We were all Cecilia's lapdogs'
Le Roux further revealed that accused number three, Valentine, was essentially the "breadwinner" and kept the ministry, "Electus Per Deus (Chosen by God)", going.
"Yes, he paid large amounts of money to the ministry. The purpose was to save ex-satanist kids, so he, like me, believed he was helping people," Le Roux said.
"He was sucked dry by Cecilia."
Advocate Amanda Nel, for Valentine, then asked what the benefit of being part of this ministry was if they never received anything.
"We didn't gain anything, my mother and Marcel included. We were being used, we were all Cecilia's lapdogs," Le Roux said.
When Nel asked the first witness why he would remain part of something that contributed nothing to his life, Le Roux said there was no way out.
'Plenty of threats'
"I was there because my mother was there. My mother led me to believe that my father didn't want me and I had nowhere to go. I was still a child," Le Roux said.
During Nel's cross-examination of Le Roux, it was revealed that those who were members of the alleged "satanic church" under the leadership of Cecilia had no option of leaving.
"There were plenty of threats if I tried to leave. I was threatened with a knife by my mother. I have also been shouted at by Cecilia and my mother that I would end up like Mikeila," Le Roux said.
Mikeila was Valentine's wife. She was murdered, allegedly by the group, in October 2012 after she became disillusioned by the string of crimes that had been committed.
Le Roux stated that he made several attempts to run away but they always came to nothing because he simply "had nowhere to go".
"Multiple times at 02:00–03:00, I would leave the house while everyone was sleeping. I would stop once I made it down the road because I didn't know where to go," he said.
Father identified as potential victim
Le Roux, who reconnected with his biological father when he was 18, said this was initially halted by the ministry because its leaders wanted its members to be isolated.
The group later had a change of heart once they realised that Le Roux's father, who was present at the trial, could be their next potential victim.
"When they found out I was fishing with my dad, they (the group) saw it as a benefit to kill him," Le Roux said.
"I never told my father anything about the ministry. We were told if you talk you will be killed. We were told spirits follow us and if we talk the spirits will tell Cecilia," he added.
The court has briefly adjourned.