The Mercury

Pool acid and vinegar used to clean on farm

Witness testifies in Mooinooi murder case


A FORMER employee of the alleged mastermind behind the gruesome double Mooinooi murders told the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, that Koos Strydom instructed him and others to scrub an area on his farm clean with pool acid and vinegar.

The man, who cannot be identified as he is in the witness protection programme, spoke of the man he called “uncle”, saying he had no idea why they had to use pool acid.

According to him, Strydom’s wife and co-accused Mercia told him the chemicals were supposed to assist with the bad smell in the area, located on Strydom’s farm.

The man, who was escorted into court and protected by two guards, gave evidence in the trial of the Strydoms and their three co-accused, Aaron (James) Sithole, Jack Sithole and Alex Modau.

The five are facing 13 charges, including two of murder, following the gruesome death of same-sex couple Anisha and Joey van Niekerk.

The two went missing on December 10, 2017, and only the burnt remains of one of them were found.

The police could not identify a second set of remains.

It is claimed that the women were tortured, gang-raped and hung by their necks, after which their bodies were allegedly burnt with acid and later set alight.

The State witness told Judge Bert Bam that “Uncle Koos” also told him to assist with cleaning out a water well behind his home. This was two days after the women’s disappeara­nce.

According to him, Strydom told him that James had earlier killed a black woman and that her body was dumped in the well.

He said while they were busy cleaning, the police arrived on the farm. He has since then been under witness protection.

The man also told how “Uncle Koos” had sent him to town the previous day – when the women had disappeare­d – to buy a saw and an axe.

Lieutenant Colonel Johannes Nkosi, the investigat­ing officer in the case, also took the stand yesterday. He testified that a task team consisting of various units in the police investigat­ed the murders.

Nkosi said he at first approached Strydom when investigat­ing the disappeara­nce of the women. Strydom was not a suspect at that stage, but Nkosi felt he could assist the police as he was the last person who saw the couple before they had disappeare­d.

He later obtained a search warrant to search Strydom’s panel-beating business, which he ran from the Van Niekerk’s farm, and search his home at his plot, which was about 10km away.

Nkosi said they found nothing at the panel-beating shop, but made certain discoverie­s at Strydom’s house. At this point Strydom’s advocate objected and said the search warrant was not legal as all the blocks on the document were not filled in, although it was issued by a magistrate. The magistrate is expected to be called today to testify regarding the legality of the warrant. If it is not legal, none of the alleged evidence the police found inside the house will be permissibl­e for the trial.

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