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Johannesburg - The alleged mastermind behind the satanic ritual after which Kirsty Theologo died loved her, the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, heard on Friday.
“I found Kirsty attractive,” Linden Wagner told the court.
“We were close friends... There were times when we kissed, but we never had sexual relations.
“I loved her, but I was not in love with her,” he testified.
Wagner told the court that Theologo, 18, had briefly dated one of his friends, Robin Harwood.
Harwood was also allegedly part of the group which took part in the demonic ritual that resulted in Theologo's death.
The attack on Theologo and her friend occurred at a hill in Linmeyer, in Johannesburg south, in October 2011. Theologo died of her injuries a week later. Her friend, who was 14 years old at the time, survived.
Wagner, Harwood, Harvey Isha, and Courtney Daniels are on trial for Theologo's murder and the attempted murder of her friend, and for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. All have pleaded not guilty.
Two other accused, Jeremy King and Lester Moody, confessed to the crime and were each sentenced to 17 years' imprisonment, five of them suspended.
On Thursday, Wagner gave the court a detailed account of how he strangled the 14-year-old girl until she was unconscious.
He said he then repeatedly hit Theologo with a rock on the head before setting her alight.
He and his accomplices then made cuts on their hands and dripped their blood into a fire. They also burnt a Bible.
Wagner said he was aware of what he was doing, but had no control over himself. He said he had felt a rush through his body, and was “zoned out” throughout the attack.
The trial continues.