In this episode I discuss the horrific and brutal crimes committed by the group known as Electus Per Deus in Krugersdorp from 2012 to 2016. Join me in learning about the terrifying rin-leader, Cecilia Steyn and her henchmen who somehow formed a small cult in Krugersdorp, the tiny mining Town in the west Rand of Johannesburg.
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Hi there!! This is Cup Of Taboo and you’re with me, Tyler! Hope everyone is doing swell and dandy! I am very hungover while typing this episode up, so I am neither swell, nor dandy, but onwards we must go!
Today I will give you a short breakdown of the horrific crimes committed by the Krugersdorp Serial Killers, the cult Electus per Deus, mostly because I am from Krugersdorp, born and raised, so it’s a close on, but also because the docci, Devilsdorp just came out and it was so good that I just wanted to talk about it.
So I hope you are ready for your weekly dose of entertaining and gruesome information served in A Cup Of taboo.
Warning, the following audio contains graphic descriptions, listener discretion is advised.
OK to start out I think I need to explain Krugersdorp. Krugersdorp was a mining town in the West of Johannesburg. The wild west, woesrand. It was made a municipality in 1903 and was named after Paul Kruger. There is not much mining anymore, just huge mine dumps all over the place. The town itself is a little rough, but it has history. The outskirts are really wonderful, where I grew up it was super green and it felt relatively safe. The schools were good and the people were lovely! To be fair, as a child you are so sheltered from hearing about anything bad that you don’t realize what goes on around you. There was a definite socioeconomic divide in Kdorp. There were the really really poor areas, then the not so poor areas. And What you need to understand is that this story is going to revolve a lot around religion. I think that people who were in the terribly poor areas who lived very poor lives turned to religion in hopes that it could give them meaning and purpose, but sometimes their vulnerability was taken advantage of.
Ooh before I start with the Krugersdorp Serial killers, I would just like to mention that there has been many Satanic claims about the small town, it has 5 entrances so its prefect for a pentagram, and such like that. In 2008 while I was in School, there was a boy (Morne Harmse) in a school very close to ours that samurai sword decapitated another child at school while wearing a home made slipknot mask. WILD! He was supposedly a part of a satanic group, which happened to somehow included Cecilia Steyn.
Little did I or many people know that some of the most horrific things would happen between 2012 and 2016, in this idyllic little town, where satanism apparently was a popular topic.
I am not really sure where to begin. So I think I will just go in chronological order. But first let me introduce our villains.
The head bitch – Cecilia Steyn is a 37 year old woman who claims to be the ex head priestess of a satanic cult in Krugersdorp. First of all, when I read that she is 37 I nearly fell of my chair because she looks about 65. I promise you, she has the most.. interesting look, her hair!! and she just generally is haggard looking. She stayed in the block of flats called the Cosanna flats, these flats were across from Krugersdorp Private Hospital (that’s where I was born) It’s a rof area, will not lie. She claimed to be a part of a satanic group and that she was born into it to be the high priestess and Satans bride (Shame poor Satan). She also claimed to have very bad health and said that she was both a warewolf, and a vampire? If twilight is to be believed those 2 should be mortal enemies but mkay. Because she was a 42 generational high witch, the satanic group could not let her leave because she was destined to open the gates of hell and therefore she was in grave danger, and needed protection. She had said that if she went further than the 30km radius from her home that death curses would be activated.
Next up we have Zak Valentine. Zak was born on August 3 1985. He grew up in Westonaria and was diabetic. Zak grew up in a religious and stable household, and he was very intelligent and did incredibly well at school, getting a distinction in mathematics. He was said to be quiet and reserved and went on to get his degree in actuarial sciences and mathematics at Potch university, that’s one clever human being, I could not think of anything worse! Valentine lived in London for a year after his studies and returned to work for Absa for four years. He also worked for Discovery, for three years and started his own Forex company. He was said to be earning above the usual salary at about R70 000 a month!! Id give my left nipple to earn that a month, I am just saying.
Mikaela Valentine was married to Zak Valentine, she was a 25 year old estate agent. She had a bit of a hectic early life, she turned to drugs and sex. She then found the church and decided to go into the ministry. She seemed to be an incredibly bubbly, beautiful and happy human. She started studying at the Rhema ministries school. She dropped out of the course when she joined Zak with Ceclia. She also apparently started getting tattoos and dying her hair very dark. She was found murdered brutally on the 12 October 2012.
Marinda Steyn was a teacher who lived in Krugersdorp.She was 51 at the time of the trial, She had 2 children, Le Roux and Marcel Steyn. She was described as a lovely, quiet lady before the events between 2012 and 2016.
Leroux Steyn was about 20 years old when he was caught. He was also said to be quiet and soft spoken. He claimed that his mother had hit him with a baseball bat and that she threatened to kill him if he did not join in on the crimes.
Marcelle Steyn had just finished High School with 6 distinctions when she was caught. So she was a smart cookie. She was a drug addict from the age of 14, which coincidentally is when she witnessed her first murder. She would stay with Cecilia and get her drugs from her. The group used her as bait often.
John Barnard joined the group in around 2015. He was a definite drug addict and he was said to have been willing to do anything to get his next fix. He was at one stage employed by The Meyers who I will talk about later on.
Ria Groenewald – Pastor who did psychological counselling for people who were survivors of the Occult.
Ben Booysen – looks like someone I would like to have a braai with! He seems like the most genuine guy in the whole of Krugersdorp and I am standing by that. He was the detective that pretty much did the adding up for this case.
In 2012 there were 4 murders that were called the Satanic murders by the media.
On the 26 July 2012 the police were called to a gruesome scene in Pretoria where the body of Natascha Burger, 34 and Joy Boonzaier were found in a home. In the house there were satanic materials scattered around so the police assumed that this murder had to have been occult related. Natascha Burger was close with Ria, and she helped her in presenting her courses.
On the 13 August 2012 Pastor Reg Bendixon was found murdered face down on his lawn by his wife. He was viciously stabbed to death.
Last was the murder of Mikaela Valentine on the 12 of October 2012 in her home in Ruimsig area, on the outskirts of Krugersdorp.
Alrighty then, now that I have given you a brief overview of the murders, I would like to explain what it is that had happened in hopefully a short and easy to understand manner.
Ria Groenewald had a ministry group that she called overcomers through Christ that she ran. She also did therapy with ex occult members to try and deprogram them and integrate them back into society. She was contacted by Cecilia Steyn and Cecilia said that she had escaped the Satanic church and she was in need of all the help that she could get. Ria decided to start presenting courses to help survivors of Satanic groups this was called Know your Enemy, she used Cecilias testimony and stories as course material. The people who were part of the group, who were all devout Christians, were fascinated with Cecilia, they just wanted to learn more. Shame these people were a little bit gullible. The people who joined this group included Zak and Michaela Valentine, Marinda Steyn and her 2 children, Marcel and Leroux, who were only about 10 and 12 at the time. Cecilia would teach the children about everything spiritual.
Ria felt that the Know your enemy course was too focused on Satan and not enough on God, so she decided to do another course called know your saviour, which she consulted with Pastor reginald Bendixon on. This offended Cecilia because Ria was no longer focusing on her and doting on her, so she would do anything in her power to try to get Ria to be with her and pay attention to her, she would send anonymous texts pretending to be from the Satanic Church threatening her (Cecilia’s) life to try and get Ria to feel bad and go back to her. Some other kind of manipulative stuff right here! Ria would have prayer meetings at her place and she would receive messages saying that she had to stop or Cecilia would be badly hurt. One day at one of these meetings there was a terrible screaming outside the window and Cecilia was found below in the street, covered with blood saying that she had been stabbed. Ria decided to have one last secret prayer meeting with her bible group and at this meeting, petrol bombs went off outside in the parking lot by the members cars. This was the last straw for Ria, it was at this point that she left the group.
Cecilia decided to make her own group called Electus per Deus which means chosen by god, and in this group was Marinda Steyn, her children, Marcel and Leroux Steyn, Zak and Mikaela Valentine. They all got the words Electus per deus tattooed on their bodies in some way or another. The members were paying “tithes” to Cecilia, because she had lied and told them that there was an orphanage in the jungles of America for children of Satanists who needed to be saved. Members contributed to this “charity” according to how they earned, Zak was said to have contributed up to R100000 at a time. Obviously this was not going to any such thing, it was going straight to Cecilia who was still somehow living like a bum.
On certain nights (High nights) Cecilia would say that the Satanic energies were strong, and on these nights she needed extra protection. Nights like Halloween etc. On these nights the ladies iin the Overcomers through Christ group would get together at Cecilias flat and they would sing gospel songs and pray and Cecilia would apparently be there in body, but her spirit was far away going through some other kind of torture. She would collapse and convulse and blood would pour out of her mouth and these ladies would just pray harder and try their best to get her to snap out of it. She could also slow down her breathing and heart rate enough so that it would appear as if she had died. The blood that poured out of her mouth was her own blood that she drew and then put into a latex glove, tied the finger tips that were filled with the blood and she would then bite down on these so it looked like she was bleeding profusely (Explain the glove thing)
Natascha Burger had written a prayer for the children in America and said this prayer one night. It was called the dangerous prayer, Cecilia was not a fan of this and she said that because Natascha had said this prayer, 170 children had died. She managed to manipulate her group of followers that Natasha needed to be killed, she even used certain bible verses and changed their meaning to justify it. The plan was that Marcel who was just a teenager at the time, would go to Nataschas house in a disguise and tell her that her cat had run inside, then she would pepper spray her and let the others know that she was down and they would come in and murder her, however, Natascha was very wary and would not let Marcel inside. Marcel aborted mission and the group left for the night. That night they marked her house with blood and had to come up with another idea. Zak and Mikaela went to Nataschas elderly neighbour, Joy and they told her that they were old friends of Nataschas and they were there to surprise her, so Joy let them in to her house, once inside they threatened her, and made her write a note to Natascha which said “Natasha please come see me urgently, Joy” (In Afrikaans) and they put that note on Natashas door for when she returned from work. Zak then took Joy to her bedroom where he locked the small dog in the closet and he slit her throat, it is said that she managed to crall a small while before sadly passing away. When Natascha got home, she saw the note and did not even go into her own home, she grabbed the note and went over to Joys house. When she knocked on the door, she was greeted by Zak and Mikaela, she tried to fight them off, but unfortunately Zak over powered her and he had a knife so he stabbed her and she too passed away. Mikaela freaked out at this point and ran out of the house back to their car and a neighbour actually saw her but did not really make much of it. Natascha was made into a victim because of how close she was with Ria, and Tannie joy just happened to be unfortunate collateral damage.
In August 2012 just after Natascha and Joys murders, Ria received a text saying “Hi Ria, have you said goodbye to Reg, I hope you Have.” From a number she did not know. Cecilia had told Electus Per Deus that Pastor reg Bendixon was to blame for Ria pulling away and that they had to get rid of him so that ria could come back. The grouop just, went along with it1? Like yesss massterrr. At this point Marinda wanted to get into Cecilias favorite books and she volunteered to murder Reg, She took Marcel with her and Zak to Reg to do the deed. Marinda took a Knife, Zak took an axe, and Zak hit Pastor Reg over the head with the axe and Marinda started stabbing him repeatedly. It is said that Zak also could not stop. Marcel was just 14 at the time and she witnessed this whole thing. Marinda said later in her testimony in court that she felt an overwhelming release when she killed, and that she really enjoyed it.
During the investigation, the police realised that these victims were involved with the overcomers through christ group and so they interviewed everyone in the group, when they spoke to Ria Groenewald she said that she believed that Cecilia had something to do with these murders. On the day of Pastor Regs funeral, Ria received a package outside her door which contained a piece of raw meat and a note that said “Sorry, this is all the doggies left you, here is a piece of your precious Reggie” I can imagine!!! It was only a piece of pork, but still!
After the murder of the pastor, Mikaela called her mother and said that she was very scared and that people had been murdered. She said that she needed a lawyer, and when asked why she would need a lawyer she said that she just didn’t know what to say to the police, due to this, the cops got a warrant to search the vehicles and home of Zak and Mikeala as well as Ria, Cecilia and Marinda. In Cecilias house there were a lot of strange weapons found, like a full door of knives, an axe and other things. 2 days before the police were set to go and investigate the Valentines home, they received a call that said there had been a homicide, the police realised it was at the Valentines home. This was on the 4 October.
Mikaelas body was found in her bed, with so much blood it was incomprehensible. What had happened was, that Zak had to be sure that he had an alibi, so he went to work, but before going to work he put sedatives in Mikaelas coffee because Marinda did not want her waking up. Marinda took Marcel to the house, which was left open by Zak and she then decided to hit Mikaela over the head with a hammer to try and knock her out and make sure she was not going to wake up, unfortunately for Marinda, because Mikaelas head was on a pillow, it sort of kept bouncing and Mikaela was waking up. She freaked out and just started stabbing Mikaela repeatedly. Marcel stood in the doorway and watched as this woman, who was like an older sister to her was getting murdered. Marinda made Marcel join in, and Marcel stabbed Mikaela one time but then could not do any more. She was stabbed 65 times. Zak had planned it so well, he arranged a meeting with estate agents that after noon after work because he wanted to sell the house, he opened for them and they all went inside together and then when he walked into the bedroom he put on a show and screamed and cried and asked the estate agent to check if she was dead. Apparently after that all he wanted to know was where his cats were and if he could still sell the house…
27 November 2015 – Meyer Murders. The Electus per deus group was told about a wealthy couple, the Meyers who lived in Noordhuewel. They set up an appointment with them to discuss building a water park in KZN, and Peter Meyer had a bad feeling about this meeting and even asked his partner to sit in on it, however the partner was busy and could not make it. Marinda and Zak entered the Meyers house and then threatened to kill them, they only got R600 from them, and killed them anyways.
Marinda and Zak were already suspects because they were caught on CCTV footage at the Meyers house, so they were asked to go in and do a lie detector test, which Zak was worried he would fail.
In December 2015 Discovery Life got a frantic phone call from Leroux Steyn, calling on behalf of Cecilia Steyn stating that Zak Valentine had passed away in a car accident. Cecilia said that she was the beneficiary to his life insurance which was a sum of money of R3.5 Million!!! The policy was sent for review, because the policy was only taken out months before the event and the premiums were in arrears. Cecilia said that her and Zak were very close friends, and when questioned by the insurance police man, (he knew how Mikaela had died) she told him so many blatant lies. Marinda had acted as Zaks sister and went to go identify the body before his actual family could go.
In 2016 there was a host of murders that were dubbed “the Appointment murders” by the media. These murders were commited by people being called for appointments, then being violently murdered and left in the trunk of a car or out in fields. The murderers then took the persons cards and withdrew cash. This is ultimately how they were caught. Le Roux and Marcel Steyn were seen on ATM footage withdrawing the funds from the murder victims cards.
The first victim was Glen MacGregor, he was 57 years old. Glen was a tax consultant from Randfontein (the town next to Krugersdorp, my dad happens to own a Pawn Shop there which somehow comes into play in this) Marinda, Marcel and Le Roux and Barnard Met Glen at his home on 27 January 2016. They forced him to transfer R6000 into Marinda’s bank account after he was then shot and they then strangled him, and he succumbed to his wounds. The reference on the bank transfer was excellent fuck, wtf. They then put his body into a bathtub full of hot water to distract from what really killed him. Now, I don’t want to say this is absolute truth, but my dad, after watching this documentary went and had a look at his records, and it shows LeRoux and Marcel pawning items shortly after this murder. Items like tools and such.. Suspish I know.
Next was Anthony Scolefield, 67, a tax consultant. The four in the group lured Scolefield to their flat in Krugersdorp and forced him at gunpoint to hand over his bank cards and PINs. They withdrew R16 600 from his accounts and used his cards at various shops in Krugersdorp. If I had R16 600 in my bank account you know I definitely did something bad to get that #poor
Scolefield was eventually strangled and placed in the boot of his car, which was then abandoned.
Similarly, Kevin McAlpine, who was 29, was lured to their Krugersdorp flat on May 26, 2016, and forced to hand over his bank cards. R1 300 was withdrawn from his accounts. He, too, was strangled and left in the boot of his car, he left his girlfriend who was pregnant with their child.
A few days later, on May 30, estate agent Hanlé Lategan, 52 was lured to the flat under the pretence of a business meeting with a client.
She was similarly threatened and R3 000 was withdrawn from her account. Police had cordoned off the area where Lategan had parked her car as she had been reported missing. The foursome then placed Lategan's body in Marinda's car and dumped her body near the Randfontein cemetery, where it was discovered the following day. Back to my dads shop, Leroux came in and purchased a second hand blackberry from the shop the day before Hanle was murdered. He then returned it to the shop the day after it happened and claimed that it was not working, OR Leroux, you used it as a burner phone and you were trying to cover up your tracks hmmm??
Just please notice how quickly these murders happened, this was over the course of less than a month that 3 people were murdered, for pitiful chunks of change. Nobody should be violently murdered for any sum of money, let alone R1300.
OK so, After these murders, the accounts that were being emptied were being done by Leroux and Marcel at different ATMs, and they were caught on the ATM cameras doing this, eventually an informer saw the footage and said “hey, that looks like the Steyn kids” So they were brought in for facial analysis and true as nuts, it was proven to be them! During the investigation, Le Roux confessed to all the murders and said that he had acted alone. He was a skinny child at that point so the cops were like, mkay somebody helped you for sure, who are you protecting??
At one point Ben Booysen got a call from an anonymous source that said he must go and check in Marinda Steyns classroom. So he took a team of people and they searched the room, and in some old stoves they found a bunch of ammunition and weapons.. IN HER OFFICE!! Why not keep it at home at least. The police were told that she had recently updated her will as well and that it was still on the property, in her will she stated that she denounced her children because of the crimes that they had commited and that everything will be left to… dum dum duuuummm Cecilia steyn.
Detective Ben Booysen took this piece of information to LeRoux and showed it to him, which made LeRoux break down and actually tell the truth on what had happened.
It was LeRouxs testimony that finally did it
Now remember the frantic phone call to discovery about Zak dying in a car accident and burning out? It was through LeRouxs testimony that it was discovered that this was faked in order to get the insurance money. The group had targeted a man named Jarod Jackson, who was a homeless man that used to sell sweeties on the side of the road, Cecilia had purchased there before and they befriended them, Zak had said that he wanted to go fishing and that Jarod must join him and the boys, which Jarod gladly agreed to. He was murdered in the car by LeRoux and John Barnard and then he was moved into the drivers seat and the car was doused with gasoline and set on fire. Zak disappeared after that, he said it was because he didn’t want to do that lie detector test, the group also needed money. He was caught in a very amusing way as well. There was a lady who would host camping weekends for homeless people (Which Zak was now one) and he use dto join these camping getaways under a false name. One day one of the police officers brought home a file that had Zaks face on it and his Girlfriend who worked at these camps recognised the picture and said hey that’s Michael or whatever his name is, and the police mand said no it is not, this is Zak Valentine. Anywwaaayyy long story short, his tattoos gave him away and they caught him.
LeRoux had implicated everyone in his testimony. He made a plea bargain so that he would not spend his life in prison. John Barnard was Brought in and his story directly linked to LeRouxs and that’s how they verified that it was truth.
Ria had fled Krugersdorp and changed her name because she feared for her life, they eventually got hold of her and she was a witness for the prosecution. She said that the day that Reg died, she died, because she has been left with nothing.
When Ben Booysen took over the case, He wanted to link the 2012 murders with the 2015 and 16 murders, however the dockets and boxes of evidence had somehow gone missing from 2012. There is currently an investigation on the police handling of the case in 2012 that has not yet been concluded.