‘Krugersdorp killers’ get multiple life sentences

Zak Valentine, Cecilia Steyn and Marcel Steyn in court, Monday August 19, 2019. Photo: Michelle Swart, Krugersdorp News.

Zak Valentine, Cecilia Steyn and Marcel Steyn in court, Monday August 19, 2019. Photo: Michelle Swart, Krugersdorp News.

The trio was found guilty of 32 counts between them, including murder, fraud, racketeering, and robbery.

Cecelia Steyn, Marcel Steyn, and Zak Valentine, the trio dubbed the Krugersdorp killers, have been handed multiple life sentences, with Judge Ellem Jacob Francis handing down his final sentencing on Monday.

Cecilia Steyn has been sentenced to 13 life sentences, Valentine to eight, and Marcel Steyn to seven life sentences.

The trio was found guilty of 32 counts between them, including murder, fraud, racketeering, and robbery, Krugersdorp News reports.

Between 2012 and 2016, they were part of a group that called itself Electus per Deus (Chosen by God), which murdered 11 people.

A calm and composed Valentine listened as Judge Francis handed down his sentence – eight life sentences, to run concurrently, with 66 years collectively, also to run concurrently with the life sentences, for the other counts against him.

Next, Cecilia Steyn, believed to be the mastermind of the murders, was sentenced to 13 life sentences, to run concurrently with 152 years (also to run concurrently) for the other counts against her, in prison.

Steyn appeared in court in her usual black jacket and checkered shirt, with her signature thinning spiky hair, staring straight ahead as the judgment was read.

Until this day, the 38-year-old Cecilia has maintained that she is innocent and a victim in this highly publicised case. Steyn feels that the media has sensationalised the case and allegedly explained that it was as if the media had been granted power to destroy people without knowing anything about them.

She told the social worker that the judge should call upon God to come testify if the court was not content with her version of events.

Finally, Judge Francis sentenced Marcel Steyn to seven life sentences, to run concurrently, with 144 years for the other counts, to also run concurrently.

The High Court in Johannesburg heard on Thursday that Marcel has the mindset of a 10-year-old as she was brainwashed by her aunt, Cecilia Steyn, into being complicit in their murder spree.

Marcel’s mother, Marinda Steyn, is currently serving 11 life terms and 115 years in prison, while her brother, Le Roux Steyn, is serving 35 years.

Another member of the group, John Barnard, who also testified during the trial, is currently serving 20 years.

Earlier, Judge Francis called this the worst case he has presided over in his 18 years as a judge.

He said he found it shocking that the group said they were Christians.

With this “trial of the century” coming to an end, those who were involved were left exhausted and depleted, with many in court whispering and asking if justice actually prevailed.

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