The woman who has been convicted for the so-called Krugersdorp murders, Marinda Steyn, 52, testified at the High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday that Cecelia Steyn (accused number two), accused of being the mastermind of the crimes, had no knowledge of the killings – before or after.
Marinda took the witness stand after Cecelia concluded her testimony in the trial of the remaining three accused, Cecilia Steyn, 37, Zak Valentine, 34, and Marcel Steyn, 20.
Marinda and Le Roux Steyn, 22, were sentenced in May after signing a plea deal with the state, with Le Roux turning state witness in the trial of the remaining three.
In May, Marinda received a 390-year sentence after signing a plea deal with the state. She will serve her time in the Johannesburg South Prison. She was convicted of 11 murders (25 years for each) and 115 years for all the other crimes, which included fraud, racketeering and managing an enterprise, illegal possession of ammunition and firearms, defeating the ends of justice, robbery, and accessory after the fact of murder.
After the lunch break, Marinda gave testimony of gruesome murders that she said had mostly been committed by herself and Le Roux.
In her testimony, Marinda claimed that Valentine (accused number one), herself, and another witness had hatched a plan to fake accused number one’s death because he wanted to evade a police lie detector test for a murder he knew he was guilty of.
Marinda said the plan had been to kill a close associate, place them in the front seat of a black Mercedes-Benz – a type of vehicle Valentine was known to drive – and set it alight.
She said that she, along with Valentine and another, had been part of the execution of the plan and that, at the time, she was not aware the plan had been hatched so that Valentine could claim from a life policy.
“I’m aware of the allegations but it is not true,” Marinda said, reiterating that according to her knowledge, Valentine had wanted to evade a lie detector test with the police, adding she had not been aware that Cecelia had been the beneficiary of Valentine’s life policy.
Throughout the second part of her testimony, Marinda repeatedly said accused number two, Cecelia, had had no knowledge of the murders, saying she had kept the truth from Cecelia because she, Marinda, feared being rejected by her friend who would never associate with such things. Also, because Cecelia would have most likely wanted her to confess to the police and that she, Marinda, feared what such a confession would do to Cecelia’s health.
At some point of her testimony, Marinda said: “She had nothing to do with anything,” and then later added: “The further it went, the less I could tell.”
Marinda testified that she came to know of the so-called marriage between Cecelia and Satan during the course of the trial and that accused number two had never mentioned to her anything about having supernatural powers.
She dismissed the indictment that Cecelia had sought revenge from Riah Grunewald, the leader of Overcomers Through Christ, following their breakup.
The trial resumes tomorrow, while the accused remains in custody.