Lesbian couple raped, murdered and set on fire because killer didn’t want to pay rent

Four people have been found guilty of raping and murdering a lesbian couple in a horrific and brutal attack.

Joey van Niekerk, 32, and Anisha van Niekerk, 30, from Mooinooi, South Africa, had been married for three years when they were murdered in December of 2017.

The couple were reported missing on December 10, after leaving their home to go to Joey’s father’s funeral.

Six days later, their remains were discovered. They had been raped, murdered, and their bodies were doused in acid and set on fire.

Four people were convicted of their murder in the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday (August 26): Mercia Strydom, 24, Aaron Sithole, 27, his brother Jack Sithole, 21, and Alex Modau, 39.

Strydom’s husband Koos, who was thought to have planned the brutal attack, died by suicide while in prison.

The killers will be sentenced on October 15, with the couple’s families calling for them to be given life sentences.

Joey’s sister Rina Payne told the court that the three years since the murders had been hell for their family, IOL reports.

Gauteng High Court, Pretoria judge Bert Bam said there was no doubt that all four of the accused had planned the murders – but said Koos Strydom was the main instigator.

South Africa lesbian couple murder

Joey and Anisha van Niekerk were raped and murdered (Facebook/Wynand van Niekerk)

Koos ran a panel beating business on land owned by the Van Niekerks, the court heard, and was tired of paying them rent.

He wanted to buy the plot, but couldn’t afford it – so he and his wife created a fake contract and lured Joey and Anisha van Niekerk to their plot, where they forced them to sign it.

After signing the fake contract, the assailants kidnapped the women, robbed their bank cards and forced them to hand over their PINs.

The couple were subsequently raped multiple times. They were then murdered and their remains were burned.

The lesbian couple’s families are happy the killers will ‘pay for what they have done’

The Sithole brothers were found guilty of counts of murder, rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, theft and defeating the ends of justice, according to News 24.

Modau was convicted of two counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, theft and defeating the ends of justice.

Meanwhile, Strydom was convicted on two counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, theft, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition and defeating the ends of justice.

Speaking after the four were convicted, Joey’s sister Rina said: “It was unbearable to listen through what my sister and Anisha had to go through before and after their deaths.

“I am just happy that the killers will have to pay for what they have done.”