John Barnard, the man currently serving a prison sentence for his role in the sensational Krugersdorp date murders, was found dead in his prison cell.
Singabakho Nxumalo, spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services, confirmed to RNews that Barnard died in his sleep on Saturday evening.
“He died of natural causes and no foul play is suspected,” Nxumalo confirmed.
Barnard died in Barberton prison in Mpumalanga, where he served his sentence.
Barnard was part of the organized organization, called Electus per Deus (Chosen by God), which killed a total of 11 people between 2012 and 2016. The case later became known as the “date murders” because several victims were killed after meeting someone for a date.
John Barnard was sentenced to 20 years in prison in December 2016 after pleading guilty and agreeing to testify against the other defendants.
He pleaded guilty to 13 charges, including murder and aggravated robbery.
His three co-accused, Cecilia Steyn, Zak Valentine and Marcel Steyn, were heavily sentenced in the High Court in Johannesburg in 2019.
They were found guilty of the murders of pastor Reg Bendixen, Mikeila Valentine, Peter and Joan Meyer, and attempted murder of Joshua Groenewald. Cecilia and Marcel were also found guilty of the so-called date murders – the murders of Anthony Scholefield, Kevin McAlpine, Glen McGregor and Hanle Lategan.
Marinda Steyn (51) and her son, Le Roux Steyn (22), were found guilty in 2018 in terms of a plea agreement for their part in the murders.
Read more about the case here.