Pretoria - Tears ran down the faces of the Mooinooi couple while they were being gan-graped, minutes before they were both hung by their necks from a hook in the ceiling of a garden shed.
This was the evidence of Moses Rakuba, who was there on the day Anisha and Joey van Niekerk were murdered on alleged mastermind, Koos Strydom’s plot in Mooinooi, near Rustenburg.
Rakuba told the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, that Strydom paid him R2 000 for his part in the crime. He was initially charged alongside Strydom, his wife Mercia and co-accused Aaron (James) Sithole, his brother Jack Sithole and Alex Modau.
Rakuba meanwhile turned state witness and he is under witness protection.
According to Rakuba, Strydom paid them a deposit of R5 000 to abduct the women, but they took the money and left. On Sunday December 10, 2017 - two days later - Strydom phoned him and told him to come to the plot.
While at Strydom’s plot, he saw the Van Niekerk couple arriving in their car, with accused James and Jack in the back. They each grabbed a woman by the neck at gunpoint and pulled them out of the car. James pulled Anisha into the house, while Jack took Joey to the shed.
Rakuba said when he went into the house, James was busy raping Anisha, while Mercia watched through a half open door. She called Rakuba and told him to tell James not to rape the woman, but James would not stop.
“He said he had lusted over her (Anisha) for a long time.”
Rakuba then went to the shed, where Jack was busy raping Joey. James then brought Anisha to the shed, where the woman were again raped.
“I could see they were traumatised as tears ran down their cheeks,” Rakuba said.
The women’s hands were then tied and they were then made to sign a document which was presented by Mercia. It indicated that they had sold their plot to Strydom.
Rakuba said James was speaking on the phone to Strydom, who gave instructions that the women had to die.
“I brought ropes and wire and the rope was tied around their necks. They were tied by their necks to hooks from the ceiling and I had to help lift them. But James said it was impossible for them to die like this, as their feet touched the floor. Jack then put his foot on the side of their necks and pulled the rope to elevate them from the floor.”
Rakuba said he went outside and when he returned, he could see they were “green” and dead.
James rolled them in a blanket and placed both in a dustbin, he said, and dumped them on top of each other at a stream near the house.
“James packed wood on top of them and he doused them with petrol before setting them alight.”
Rakuba later assisted in setting their car alight.
Their bones were found two weeks later in a remote veld.