Attack on wife ‘was planned’

2012-04-03 00:00

MODIMOLLE — Johan Kotzé planned the alleged attack and rape of his estranged ex-wife with his co-accused two weeks before the crimes were committed.

This was argued in the Modimolle Magistrate’s Court yesterday during the bail application of Andries Sithole (42), Peter Mohlako (33) and Frans Mphaka (29).

Magistrate Hannes Stoffberg refused them bail. He said that because the 17 charges faced by all the accused were schedule six offences, the onus rested on them to prove extraordinary circumstances why they should be released on bail.

“They have not succeeded in doing that,” he said.

The three men showed no emotion during their court appearances on Friday and yesterday.

Senior public prosecutor advocate Renier van Rooyen presented a statement by investigating officer Warrant Officer Hendrik Kruger that claimed that Kotzé spoke to Sithole as early as December 22 about the alleged attack.

They spoke to each other 20 times by cellphone before Tuesday, January 3, the day on which Ina Bonnette was allegedly raped and her son, Conrad (19), was shot dead in Kotzé’s rented home.

“You are cowards. You stood by, doing nothing, for more than an hour while a woman was being tortured, cruelly raped and sodomised. You did nothing to help her,” an angry Van Rooyen said.

“They had cellphones with them, but they never phoned the police. Moreover, as a result of their actions the victim’s child was shot dead.”

Cellphone records show that the three men were in Modimolle on January 3.

Bonnette did not attend the court appearance. Two of her friends, Annemarie Pretorius and Helena Schulenburg, said they were very relieved. “Ina was so scared they would get bail,” Schulenburg said.

The three men pointed out certain things to the police, including the bed on which Bonnette had been tied up. They also pointed out where Kotzé was supposed to have picked them up after the attack. But he never did.

The three men said they were “traumatised and afraid of” Kotzé.

“If they were afraid of him, why would they have waited for him to pick them up afterwards?” Van Rooyen asked.

Kotzé allegedly ordered the three men to have intercourse with Bonnette during the attack “because he is too fat and she wants to divorce him”.

Kotzé also apparently told them he would pay them. He gave them women’s stockings to pull over their faces. Mohlako and Mphaka hid in a wardrobe and waited until Bonnette entered the house.

She was overpowered and a towel was thrown over her head.

Van Rooyen said not one of the men ever told the police during questioning that Kotzé had forced them under threat to take part in the attack.

Defence attorney Mxolisi Moolman said the three men were victims and not criminals.

“They were used as instruments by Kotzé.”

He said Kotzé referred to the men as k*****s and his relationship with them was one of “ k****r and baas.”

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