‘Evil’ gang abducted, tortured and raped couple before hanging them and burning bodies

The two women were subjected to the horrifying ordeal after they were kidnapped in December 2017, at Mooinooi, near Brits, South Africa.

After the abduction, Anisha and Joey van Niekerk were brutally raped in front of each other, with one sexually assaulted more than once.

The two were then hung by meathooks from a shipping container’s ceiling, according to local news source IOL. 

Court documents showed that as the two woman’s feet were dangling, one of their attackers made the noose shorter to ensure they died a slow, agonising death. 

The court was also told how Joey’s death was witnessed by Anisha, who was still tied to the meathook before she was also killed. 

The sick gang also decided to burn their bodies and watched as their victims were turned into ashes. 

Their remaining bones were then crushed into pieces before they were buried, according to the presiding judge. 

He said the crime was fuelled by “evil greed”. 

It was revealed that the mastermind behind the murders, Koos Strydom, had wanted the plot of land where the victims lived. 

Although they had put it up for sale, he could not afford it so devised a plan with his wife to abduct the couple and force them to sign a fake purchase agreement. 

After signing the agreement, the van Niekerks were killed so they would not be able to report what had taken place. 

According to witnesses, the naked women pleaded for their lives to be spared before the torture began. 

Strydom committed suicide in jail while awaiting trial for his involvement in the crime.

Witnesses say Joey and Anisha begged for their lives before the torture began

While sentencing the other members of the gang, judge Bert Bam said: “You are a gang of evil-minded criminals.”

He called the crime “inhumane, cruel, evil and simply despicable”.

Mercia Strydom, Koos’ wife, pleaded with the court to pardon her for the role she played in the crime as she was only 21 at the time. 

She also insisted she was not present at the scene, but two witnesses said she was. 

Mrs Strydom was given two life sentences, as well as an additional 69 years behind bars. 

Alex Modau was also ordered to serve two life sentences, with an additional 54 years. 

Brothers Jack and James Sithole were told they would have to serve life with an extra 54 years in jail. 

The judge added: “How you thought you could get away with this boggles the mind, as people do not just vanish.”

He also told the gang they did not deserve any mercy as they had not shown mercy to the couple. 

The family of the victims shared their relief of knowing the killers would never be released from jail.

Joey’s sister, Rina Payne previously said the three years following the death of the couple had been hell. 

She 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.”