Cecilia Steyn, the alleged mastermind behind the acts committed by the so-called "Krugersdorp Killers", says that there was never an "Electus Per Deus" ministry. The members were just a group of friends, the South Gauteng High Court heard on Friday.
"I put it to you that it is accused two's (Cecilia Steyn's) version that there was never an Electus Per Deus ministry," lawyer Andre Coetze, for Cecilia, told the court.
"Then why do we have tattoos? That is a lie," first witness Le Roux Steyn responded.
This exchange was heard during the trial of three of the alleged "Krugersdorp Killers", Cecilia, 37, Zak Valentine, 33, and Marcel Steyn, 20, who are accused of committing a string of crimes including 11 murders from 2012 to 2016.
The five - Marinda Steyn and her children Le Roux and Marcel as well as Cecilia and Valentine - were nabbed for various crimes around the Krugersdorp area.
Former teacher Marinda was sentenced in May to 11 life sentences and 115 years' imprisonment. The sentences will run concurrently.
No formal praise and worship
Le Roux, who turned State witness, was sentenced to an effective 25 years in May on condition that he testifies.
Coetze, in his cross-examination of Le Roux, asked how he knew that Electus Per Deus was an actual ministry, because those who got the "Electus Per Deus" tattoo did so voluntarily and were not forced to.
"It was our preference to get the tattoo or not, but the ministry still stood and was known as Electus Per Deus," Le Roux said.
"She (Cecilia) led us to believe that she was a satanist coming out of the satanic church. We believed we had to protect people like her who wanted to come out of satanism - that was the basis of this ministry, not the tattoos," he added.
Coetze tried to prove to the court that there was no ministry as the group had no formal praise and worship or any other elements that would constitute a ministry.
"We had informal gatherings in Cecilia's lounge. We would pray and read the Bible. It wasn't formal - but we did have gatherings," Le Roux responded.
He also alleged that there were no written rules that the ministry followed but there were unspoken rules that they all had to abide by.
"I can tell you that we were not allowed to have outside friends, outside girlfriends. I was beaten multiple times because it was believed that I was having sex with people that I wasn't sleeping with," Le Roux told the court.
In Le Roux's testimony in the High Court, he shared that members of "Electus Per Deus" used drugs. Cecilia strongly denied this.
"That is a lie," Le Roux said in response to Cecilia's denial. "The first line of cocaine that I ever had was with Cecilia and she took it with me."
The trial continues.