Four Mooinooi murder accused found guilty

The four remaining accused in the gruesome Mooinooi murder case were all found guilty of conspiring to murder Anisha and Joey van Niekerk in December 2017.

Mercia Strydom (23), the widow of the so-called mastermind behind the murders, Koos Strydom who reportedly committed suicide in prison last year, Aaron James Sithole (26), Jack Sithole (20) and Alex Modau (37) were also found guilty of robbery with aggravating circumstances, two counts of kidnapping and three counts of theft in the High Court on Wednesday, 26 August. The two Sithole brothers were also found guilty of rape.

Joey and Anisha went missing on 10 December 2017 while on their way to Pretoria to organise Joey’s father’s funeral. Their burnt vehicle was found near Magaliesburg a week later. Koos and Mercia, the two Sithole brothers, Modau, Moses Rakhubu, Koos’ son, Vincent and his girlfriend, Maruschka Opperman, were arrested soon after. Rakhubu, Vincent and Maruschka later turned state witnesses. Rakhubu testified that he was hired for the murder and that the women were tortured and raped before they were hanged in a shipping container. Their bodies were burnt and the remains thrown away. According to his testimony the women were forcefully taken from their vehicle at gunpoint by the two Sithole brothers and raped. Koos Strydom then phoned James and told him the two women must die. Judge Bert Bam said other state witnesses corroborated Rakhubu’s testimony.

Bam said in his judgement that there was overwhelming evidence that Mercia Strydom was involved in the planning of the murders, the cleaning of the murder scene and the torching of the Van Niekerk couple’s vehicle. Mercia Strydom, has been out on bail for the duration of the trail, but it has now been revoked and she is in detention until the sentencing in September.