Kotze co-accused denied bail

2012-04-02 14:23

Three men charged alongside Johan Kotze for an attack on his wife have been denied bail by the Modimolle Magistrates Court.

Magistrate Hannes Stoffberg said the men had failed to prove there were exceptional circumstances why they should be granted bail.

Andries Sithole, Peter Mohlako and Sello Frans Mphaka are charged with, among others, rape, murder, conspiracy to rape, kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Stoffberg said they had told the court only that they were not flight risks and that they had family ties in South Africa.

“You indicated that the State has no case against you as another reason. I’m of the view that you did not provide strong reasons,” Stoffberg said.

He said the attack had caused a national outcry, but that the accused maintained that the public’s anger was directed at Kotze and not at them.

“The anger was directed to the crime committed, not individuals,” said Stoffberg, adding that it was in the interests of justice that the accused remain in custody.

Legal Aid SA Mpumalanga and Limpopo spokesperson Isaac Dhludhlu expressed disappointment at the ruling.

“We are disappointed. We respect the decision of the court, but we maintain we have a watertight case,” he said.

Legal Aid SA is representing the three men.

The men were hired to work in the garden of Kotze’s rented home in Modimolle. In their bail application, they told the court they committed the crimes because Kotze threatened them with a gun.

Kotze also lured his stepson to the house and allegedly shot him dead.

The case was postponed until May 11 when they will appear alongside Kotze.

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