Anisha and Joey van Niekerk (Facebook)
Prosecutors claim there were two separate plots to kidnap and murder married North West same-sex couple Anisha and Joey van Niekerk.
The women, from the town of Mooinooi, had been married for three years. They went missing on 10 December 2017 when they were expected to drive to Pretoria for their father’s funeral.
Anisha (30) – a manager at an Anglo mine – and Joey (32) never arrived and the police found their burnt vehicle on 16 December. The charred remains of two bodies were later discovered separately on 28 December.
It’s been claimed the women were hung up in a shipping container, tortured, repeatedly raped and shot dead, after which their bodies were set on fire. It’s also alleged that they were murdered to steal their property.
Panel beater Koos Strydom, his wife Mercia, his employee Aaron Sithole and two other men, Jack Sithole and Alex Mudau, have been charged with the couple’s kidnapping, rape and murder, as well as theft.
The Sunday Times reports that further details of the horrific crime were revealed in court in Pretoria last week, including the claim that Strydom hired two separate groups to target the women.
Nelson Malate told the court that he was paid R15,000 by Strydom and provided with guns and Eskom uniforms to kidnap the couple. Malate abandoned the plan when he and his gang went to Anisha and Joey’s home and discovered they were having a “party”. He then ran off with the money.
A few days later, Strydom and his accomplices are alleged to have hired another group that carried out the kidnapping and brutal murder. It’s believed that Strydom forced the women to sign away their land before they were killed.
Joey’s grieving sister, Rina Payne, told the Sunday Times that she had been at the couple’s home on the day the first group had planned to attack them. “That wasn’t a party we were having that day, we were there planning my father’s funeral.” Anisha and Joey were meant to go to Pretoria to assist with the funeral when they went missing.
When Payne’s husband went to the couple’s home to look for them he found Strydom on the premises. The accused claimed the women had given him the keys and left. He was arrested soon after.
Anisha and Joey’s remains, along with those of a number of horses, were found in a fire pit on Strydom’s property. Anisha’s remains were positively identified but Joey’s were not.
According to the South African, the case has been postponed to 27 September.