Convicted murderer Zak Valentine comes from a religious, happy and stable home, but his parents believe his “over-protective” upbringing was his downfall.
This was the evidence led in mitigation of sentence in the South Gauteng High Court on Monday morning by probation officer and social worker Annette Vergeer.
Valentine, policeman’s wife Cecilia Steyn and then-schoolgirl Marcel Steyn have been convicted for their roles in the murder of 11 people in Krugersdorp between 2012 and 2016. Marcel’s schoolteacher mother, Marinda, her brother, Le Roux, and John Barnard, who worked at a printing business, are already serving jail time.
One of their victims was Valentine’s wife, Mikeila, a travel agent.
In her evaluation report, Vergeer, who has more than 30 years’ experience in social work, told the court Zak was born on August 3 1985. He grew up in Westonaria and was diabetic.
According to Valentine’s parents, he had known Mikeila for five months before they got married. They were married for two years and had no children.
Valentine, who was described as a “quiet and reserved” person in the report, excelled in academics at school and achieved a distinction in mathematics.
His mother is a principal and his father a retired architect.