One of the accused in the high-profile “Krugersdorp killers” case, Zak Valentine, has shown no remorse for his involvement in a syndicate which committed 11 murders and various other crimes in Krugersdorp between 2012 and 2016, the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg heard on Monday during the first day of sentencing proceedings.
Probation officer and social worker Anette Vergeer testified in court: “The accused shows no remorse and no insight. The only remorse he is able to express is that he got involved with co-accused 2 in the first place, Cecilia Steyn. He is of the view that he cannot express remorse for a crime he did not commit.”
Cecilia Steyn, 38; Valentine, 34; and Marcel Steyn, 21, were found guilty of 32 counts between them, including murder, fraud, racketeering, and robbery.
The three formed part of a group dubbed “Electus Per Deus” (Chosen by God) between 2012 and 2016.
The group included Marcel’s mother, former school teacher Marinda Steyn, who is currently serving 11 life terms and 115 years in prison, as well as Marcel’s brother Le Roux Steyn, who entered into a plea bargain with the state and was sentenced to 35 years for seven murders. Ten years of his sentence were suspended on condition that he testify at the trial.
Another member of the group, John Barnard, who also testified during the trial, is currently serving 20 years, News24 earlier reported.
The court previously heard that Valentine had murdered his wife Mikaela Valentine. However, he denies any involvement in this crime, despite being found guilty in June 2019.
In addition, the court previously heard how Valentine allegedly faked his death in order for his co-accused, Cecilia, to claim life insurance. This was part of a plan to raise funds for the “Electus Per Deus” ministry which was formed under the guise of bringing children out of satanism.
The court further heard that Valentine, a former financial adviser at Discovery, made a decent living, earning approximately R70,000 a month.
“His parents believe he was abused for his income and was able to help his co-accused financially,” Vergeer added.
Vergeer told the court that the accused was raised in a “privileged”, stable, and loving home.
“No problems have been confirmed regarding his childhood upbringing. He was exposed to a fairly happy upbringing, loving, supportive, good and stable home.
“This might have been his biggest downfall, as he became easily gullible/easily influenced, according to his parents,” Vergeer explained.
The State is of the view that there were no compelling or exceptional circumstances in the psychosocial report to justify handing down anything other than the prescribed minimum sentence.