Government welcomes Modimolle Monster’s sentence

2013-07-17 17:02

Government welcomed the news that so-called “Modimolle Monster” Johan Kotze had been handed two life sentences by the high court in Pretoria.

“These brutal acts are degrading, disrespectful, and infringed the rights of Ina Bonnette,” acting Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) CEO Nebo Legoabe said today in a statement.

“This case sends out a stern warning that government will remain steadfast in its commitment to combat the scourge of sexual and gender-based violence.”

Kotze and his co-accused Andries Sithole were sentenced today to life imprisonment for the murder of Conrad Bonnette (19). He was the son of Ina Bonnette, Kotze’s ex-wife.

Both also got 10 years for kidnapping.

Their co-accused, Pieta Mohlake and Sello Mphaka, were acquitted on the murder charge. However, each of the four was convicted of kidnapping, and of four charges relating to the rape of Ina Bonnette.

Mohlake and Mphaka also received 10 years for kidnapping. All four men were given a life sentence on the rape charges.

On charges relating to assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, Kotze received 15 years. The other three received eight years each.

Legoabe said the sentencing was a clear indication that perpetrators of violence against women and children would be prosecuted.

Judge Bert Bam said today Kotze “seems inherently evil. It was a senseless act.”

Bam said there were three aspects that needed to be taken into account when deciding on a sentence. These were the nature of the crime, the personal circumstances of the accused, and the community’s interests.

Bam said certain crimes, such as premeditated murder and gang rape, had a mandatory life sentence.

“Conrad’s murder was planned. It was a preplanned murder.”

He said the accused’s personal circumstances were less important than the aggravating factors in the case.

Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana welcomed the sentence.

“Justice has been done,” she said, holding Bonnette’s hand.

“We hope that this sentence will bring closure and peace to (Bonnette) and her family to know that those who have violated her and murdered her son are finally behind bars,” said Xingwana.

“We hope the monster and his co-accused will rot in jail.”

After the sentence was handed down, family members of Kotze’s co-accused cried. One woman started wailing.

Kotze declined to speak to the media and hurriedly made his way down to the cells.

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