‘Mastermind’ behind Mooinooi same-sex couple’s murders dies in hospital

Koos Strydom

Koos Strydom, the accused mastermind behind the horrific Mooinooi killings of married same-sex couple Anisha and Joey van Niekerk, has died in a Pretoria hospital. He leaves behind his young wife and co-accused, Mercia Strydom.

Pretoria News is reporting that Strydom, 54, was rushed to hospital on Friday after he was found unconscious in his cell in the Kgosi Mampuru Prison in Pretoria. While nothing has been confirmed by authorities yet, it is speculated that he tried to take his own life by taking an overdose of tablets and/or poison. 

Anisha and Joey van Niekerk from Mooinooi near Brits in North West went missing on 10 December 2017 after traveling to a funeral in Pretoria. Their burnt-out vehicle was found six days later in the Magaliesburg area.

The prosecution believes that Strydom and his wifealong with their three co-accused, Aaron (James) Sithole, Jack Sithole, and Alex Modau – are responsible for the kidnapping, robbery, and murder of the Van Niekerks. 

As reported in the media, the state further alleges that Strydom wanted to force Anisha to sell their smallholding to him, but she did not want to do so. According to the indictment, Strydom’s intentions were to kill the couple after the agreement of sale was signed. 

When that failed, Strydom allegedly solicited the help of the other accused to kidnap the couple. The victims were bound, raped, tortured and eventually shot. Their bank cards were stolen and used, allegedly by the accused in the days following the murder.