How Kotzé was caught

2012-01-12 00:00

MODIMOLLE (Nylstroom) — While the police, the Hawks and Interpol were searching for him all over the country, the most wanted crime suspect in the country was living just outside the town for more than a week and even went to buy food more than once in a local supermarket.

He also drove to the supermarket at least once in his white Toyota Fortuner, which the police were searching for just as hard.

Johan Kotzé (50) was living in his Toyota barely two kilometres outside this Limpopo town.

He was arrested yesterday morning at 11.45 am at a friend's house in a quiet street, to which he had walked.

He arrived quite calmly at the home of the friend, Dirk van der Merwe, in Schoeman Street.

"I got the fright of my life. All he said was, 'We must talk'," a shocked Van der Merwe said yesterday. Van der Merwe phoned the police, after which detectives went to arrest Kotzé.

Sister paper Beeld was told that Kotzé even kept a daily diary from last Tuesday. It is not known what he wrote in it.

Kotzé allegedly hired three men last Tuesday and forced them to rape a woman. He himself allegedly tortured and sodomised her.

He apparently also shot and killed his stepson, Conrad Bonnette (19), in cold blood.

"Thank goodness!" the woman said yesterday when she was informed that Kotzé had been arrested. She is still in a place of safety.

Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said one of the three alleged rapists was arrested at about 30 minutes past midnight yesterday morning in Hammanskraal outside Pretoria. The man (42) is in police custody. His two companions are still at large.

Kotzé was seen at Duggans Supermarket in Boshoff Street in Modimolle on Tuesday evening, where he bought bread and corned beef. Frances du Preez, a town resident, said her daughter-in-law, Surinda du Preez, was driving along Boshoff Street at about 8 pm to "lull her children to sleep".

"She saw the [Toyota] Fortuner approaching from the front. She stopped at the café, looked in at the door and directly into his face. She got a big fright."

Surinda then phoned Du Preez, who informed her two sons, Anton and Werner. They informed the police and drove to the Drie Hekke smallholdings, where they thought the Fortuner had gone.

Drie Hekke is about two kilometres from an old power station and about five kilometres from Van der Merwe's house. The area is thickly wooded.

Here Kotzé had crashed into a thorn tree. The Du Preez brothers discovered the vehicle, with its lights still on. The windscreen was cracked and the mudguard bent. Kotzé had fled further on foot before they arrived.

"He was right under our noses and no one could find him," Du Preez said.

Beeld has heard that Kotzé also went to buy food at the supermarket on Sunday evening.

There were two blankets on the vehicle's back seat. A gas bottle, velskoens and several empty cooldrink bottles were found in the back of the car.

On the front seat was an A4 writing pad in which Kotzé wrote something every day. "He was definitely living in the car," a police officer said.

According to Van der Merwe, who owns the house in Church Street in which the tragedy took place, Kotzé looked world-weary and dishevelled when he arrived at his house in Schoeman Street — just a stone's throw away from the supermarket where Kotzé had bought food.

"I said I would have someone make us some coffee and then phoned the police."

The police questioned Van der Merwe yesterday. He said he did not offer shelter to Kotzé. Kotzé had reportedly phoned him last Wednesday and said he is "tired of life".

Kotzé will appear in the Modimolle magistrate's court tomorrow on a charge of murder, among other things.

His murdered stepson, Conrad Bonnette (19), will be buried on the same day at 11 am from the Reformed Church in Bela-Bela (Warmbaths).

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.