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Years Later, Convictions in Horrific Murder of Lesbian Married Couple

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday August 27, 2020

Anisha and Joey van Niekerk
Anisha and Joey van Niekerk  (Source:Facebook)

Four people were convicted on Aug. 26 of the murders of South African same-sex married couple Anisha and Joey van Niekerk, reports News 24.

The couple was kidnapped, raped, and murdered in December of 2017. As reported at EDGE at the time, the women vanished while on a trip from their town of Mooinooi, in South Africa's northwest province, to Pretoria, where they planned to attend a funeral. Their burned car was discovered nearly a week later. Two burned bodies, thought to be those of the missing women, were subsequently located.

The plot against the women was allegedly planned by Koos Strydom, who, along with the others, was arrested in early 2018. Strydom forced the women to sign a fake contract stating that they had sold him property he rented from the women.

The killers also stole the women's bank cards and forced them to reveal their PIN codes. After the slaying, they withdrew money from the women's bank account and went shopping.

News source IOL reported that the court heard details regarding the women having been raped multiple times and then hanged in a shipping container.

Strydom committed suicide in jail last year. The other suspects were his wife, Mercia Strydom, 24; brothers Aaron and Jack Sithol, 27 and 21 years old respectively; and 39-year-old Alex Modau, News 24 reported.

The quartet of convicts is due back in court for sentencing on Oct. 15, IOS reported. The families of the murdered women have issued a plea for the four convicts to receive life sentences.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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