Man accused of murdering South African lesbian couple was their friend

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The man who was allegedly behind the brutal torture, rape, murder and burning of Joey van Niekerk, 32, and her wife Anisha van Niekerk, 30, was someone they knew and moreover, they were in close friendly relationships. “They always came to visit me at the shop,” said the accused – who cannot be named until he enters a plea – before adding: “I also helped them with their horses.” Before being killed, the victims were reportedly trapped in a container on a property belonging to one of those accused where the two were violently beaten and raped. The eight suspects, who are made up of six men and two women, are charged with murder, kidnapping‚ rape‚ house break-in and robbery with aggravated circumstances, among others. The accused – one of eight suspects who fill face the court – said he could not think of a possible motive for the lesbian couple’s vicious murder, according to South African publication The Times. He also claimed that the police had tortured and assaulted him to force a confession, and that his attempts to complain to authorities had been met with silence.

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