The lesbian couple who were kidnapped, raped and killed last year were also soaked with acid and burned with petrol, it has emerged.
South African spouses Joey van Niekerk, 32, and Anisha van Niekerk, 30, were murdered last year after being raped and tortured, prosecutors have said.
The couple went missing on December 10, after leaving their home in Mooinooi for Joey’s father’s funeral.
Their burned-out car was found six days after they left home – and on December 28, bones thought to be theirs were discovered along a road near the couple’s home town.
Before being killed, the victims were reportedly raped and hanged in a container on a property belonging to one of those accused.
And it has emerged that after they died and their corpses were set on fire, the van Niekerks’ remains were stuffed into a bag and disposed of at a nearby mountain.
Joey and Anisha had been married for three years.
Aaron Sithole, 23, Jack Sithole, 18, Koos Strydom, 53, Alex Mudau, 36, Moses Rakubu, 33, Vincent Strydom, 29, Maroela Opperman, 18, and Marchia Strydom, 21, are facing trial.
The eight accused have been charged with two counts of murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery, unlawful possession of firearm and defeating the course of justice.
He told the court in the north-east of the country that he had a “very good relationship” with the two women.
One of the accused then said he and another suspect spent thousands of the victims’ money on groceries.
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Many of the couple’s family and friends have been in the court’s gallery during the trial, wearing black t-shirts saying: “Geregtigheid vir Joey & Anisha,” which translates as “Justice for Joey & Anisha”.
Wynand van Niekerk, Anisha’s brother, wrote on Facebook that the months since Joey and Anisha’s deaths had been “a nightmare”.
The sister and brother of Joey van Niekerk have said “they don’t know what to think anymore” since their sibling and her wife were killed.
“When they did not arrive in Pretoria on Monday, we knew something was wrong. My husband went out to the farm in Mooinooi to look for them,” Rina Payne said.
“When he got there, one of the accused was there with the house keys. He alleged that Anisha and Joey gave it to him. They would never.
“If they had to leave the farm, they would give it to a good friend in the area,” she added.
“It is difficult sitting here in court every day and listening to what these people, accused of doing these terrible things to my sister and Anisha, are saying.
“There are so many contradictions. I don’t know what to think anymore,” said Payne and her brother, Lourens Erasmus.
“We don’t even know if it is Joey and Anisha’s remains, or maybe only one of them. How can we find peace?”