Over the next couple of weeks, the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, will hear gruesome evidence regarding the murder of the couple, who were allegedly tortured and repeatedly raped before their bodies were set alight.
Only the remains of Anisha were identified by the police, although the cause of her death could not be established. The remains of her wife could not be identified.
The two went missing on December 10 of 2017 after they left the North West town to attend a funeral in Pretoria. Their car was found burnt out six days later in the Magaliesburg area.
It is claimed the couple were hanged with ropes and left to die before their bodies were set alight. Jacobus Petrus Strydom (“Koos”), 54, is alleged to be the mastermind behind the cold-blooded killings. He is facing 13 charges, including two of murder, kidnapping and rape, along with his wife Mercia Strydom, 23, and co-accused Aaron Sithole, 26, Jack Sithole, 19, and Alex Modau, 37.
The five pleaded not guilty yesterday and chose to remain mum about their defence.
Koos Strydom apparently ran a shop on the smallholding of the women and wanted to buy their land. It is claimed he wanted to force them to sign an agreement in this regard and that the plan was to kill them afterwards. It is said that he called in the help of his co-accused to assist him in the killings.
Before they headed to the funeral, the Van Niekerks allegedly went to his nearby farm, where it is claimed that they were severely assaulted, tortured, raped and then killed and set alight.
It is also claimed that prior to their killing, they were forced to give their bank details to the accused and that some of their money was withdrawn.
The State said in the indictment that it would prove that all the accused acted with a common purpose and the killings were well planned.
The investigating officer testified during the bail hearing of the accused in the Brits Magistrate’s Court earlier that the women were tied up in a container, raped repeatedly and hanged. He claimed Koos Strydom and his wife allegedly watched while the victims were raped.
According to the investigating officer, their clothes were thrown into dustbins and petrol and acid was poured over their bodies to burn them.
It is further claimed that a crushed skull and other remains were later found belonging to one of the women.
It is also alleged that while in jail, Koos Strydom offered to pay a fellow inmate due to be released on parole a large sum of money to assassinate one of the investigating officers in the case.
A video allegedly depicting Strydom in jail offering to pay the inmate was earlier aired on Carte Blanche.
All the accused, except Mercia Strydom, are behind bars awaiting trial. It is expected to start today.