230712. Johannes Jacobus Steyn, the man accused of killing Roodepoort schoolgirl Louise de Waal, appears today in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court near Thokoza in Ekurhuleni. He allegedly abducted De Waal in Roodepoort in October just before her 17th birthday. A burnt body, believed to be hers, was found on a farm in Magaliesburg later the same day. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - Johannes Jacobus Steyn, dubbed the “Sunday rapist”, said on Thursday the forgiveness he asked for in a statement was for cheating on his wife.

He was testifying in the High Court, sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court in Alberton.

Prosecutor Carina Coetzee was questioning him on an incriminating statement he made to a magistrate in Krugersdorp two days after he handed himself over in October 2011.

In it he admitted to phoning his wife, her mother, a pastor, and a psychologist and asking for forgiveness.

In these phone calls he referred to himself as a “monster” and said he wanted to stop.

However, he maintained this was because he cheated on his wife with prostitutes and other women, and because of his addiction to pornography.

He also wanted to make it right with God.

Steyn is accused of murdering school girls Louise de Waal and Lazanne Farmer.

He is also charged with 11 counts of rape, 10 of sexual assault, 10 of kidnapping, one of attempted sexual assault, one of attempted kidnapping, and two of assault.

The 11 girls Steyn allegedly attacked between 2008 and 2011 were aged between 11 and 18.

The 36-year-old pleaded not guilty to all 37 charges against him on Monday.

Asked by Coetzee if he was not emotional at being charged for the murder of a child, he answered: “It was of concern to me, but not so emotional”.

Coetzee asked Steyn why he attempted suicide before handing himself over to police.

“I'd rather die before I'd be locked up again. And with the uncertainty because of my previous conviction, and at that stage I was emotional,” Steyn said.

Earlier on Thursday he testified that he wanted to hire a prostitute the morning of de Waal's murder.

“I went looking for a good time... I went to find a prostitute... to get something I don't get at home,” he told .

When Judge Sita Kolbe asked further about this alibi, he said it was “very early” in the morning.

Steyn was testifying on what police told him prior to an incriminating statement he made to a magistrate in Krugersdorp.

He said he admitted to crimes he did not commit because he had a previous conviction.

“Take the punch... because you won't get out of this... go on with your life... this is the easy way out for you,” he said police told him.

He said he was briefed on what to say by investigating officer Peet du Toit before making the statement to the magistrate.

“I was told I was young. Plead guilty and go on,” a calm Steyn told the court.

Coetzee for the State asked Steyn how he could have found police actions against him threatening.

“They scared me into talking,” was his answer.

However, when pushed he admitted he was never physically assaulted.

“I was intimidated. No, I was not threatened.”

Coetzee asked how he was intimidated if Du Toit only briefly discussed the docket with him.

He managed to recall it so perfectly to a magistrate.

“You have an amazing memory,” she told him.

Steyn said he couldn't remember everything, but he added what he could remember from what he had read about the “Sunday rapist” in a newspaper. - Sapa