New attack on Bonnette

2012-02-11 00:00

MODIMOLLE (Nylstroom) — “I see you, but you don’t see me.”

These words spoken over the phone by a man whose voice she could not identify kept Ina Bonnette out of the courtroom here, where her estranged husband and the three men he had allegedly hired to rape her, appeared again.

Johan Kotzé (50) and his three co-accused, Andries Sithole (42), Peter Mohlako (34) and Frans Mphaka (38), are also charged with, among other things, the murder of Bonnette’s son, Conrad.

Bonnette, who wanted to attend the court appearance to show that Kotzé “had not broken her”, received the phone call at work on Thursday.

It is not clear whether it was Kotzé or a friend of his who phoned. Bonnette could not recognise the voice.

Public prosecutor advocate Renier van Rooyen subsequently recommended to Bonnette that she not attend the hearing.

Elize Coetzer, a good friend of Bonnette's, said that after the call she was “emotionally back where she was just after the attack”.

Kotzé received divorce papers in the court cells on Thursday morning. The couple were married in October 2010 and have been estranged since the beginning of last year.

Rehan Coetzee, Kotzé’s lawyer, told Beeld his firm advised Kotzé not to apply for bail now. “The time is not suitable now.”

Coetzee said he asked the state to make the docket available to him. He will now study it carefully. “There is a great possibility that we will apply for bail at a later stage.”

Coetzee said Kotzé is being held in a single cell in Pretoria Central Prison. “They are looking after him well.”

In contrast with his previous court appearance Kotzé was clean-shaven yesterday. He was wearing a white-and-blue checked shirt and dark blue denims.

His stepdaughter, Angelique Bonnette (16), sat in the front court bench.

She was visibly trembling as Kotzé stood in front of her in the dock. He allegedly shot and killed her 19-year-old brother on January 3.

Angelique said after the court appearance: “I have nothing to say to him. I won’t waste my breath on him.”

The late Conrad’s girlfriend supported her, holding her hand as they sat in court.

About 30 women wearing pink T-shirts, some reading: “For Ina”, walked to the court building before 9 am yesterday.

Nearly 150 members of the ANC Women’s League in Limpopo also protested in front of the court building, waving posters bearing the words “Kotzé and cronies must face the music” and “Real men don’t kill”.

After Kotzé and his three co-accused arrived at court in an armoured vehicle, protesters ran around the court building to the front door, shouting, “Daai bliksem is klaar binne” (“That b*****d is already inside.”)

People almost trampled one another at the court building entrance to get inside.

Magistrate Hannes Stoffberg ordered that the three men allegedly hired by Kotzé to rape Bonnette may now be named.

Sithole, Mohlako and Mphaka pulled their jackets over their faces and kept them there until the photographers had left the courtroom.

Kotzé did not speak to the three men.

The four men face 17 charges each. The case was postponed to May 11.

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