Bonnette to remain outside court

2012-02-09 22:46

Johannesburg - Ina Bonnette will stay outside the Modimolle Magistrate's Court on Friday when her estranged husband appears on charges of killing her son and masterminding her rape.

"We will ... stay outside the court," her friend Elize Coetzer said on Thursday.

She said Bonnette did not want to go inside.

"Ina is a very strong woman and she does cry... but is taking it one day at a time. All our friends have decided to wear pink with little hearts tomorrow and we will walk to the court at 08:15."

Johan Kotze faces 17 charges, including rape, murder, conspiracy to rape, kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. On January 3 Kotze allegedly ordered his three workers at gunpoint to gang-rape the 42-year-old and mutilate her body with tools including nails, pliers, a grinder, and a screwdriver.

He allegedly shot dead her 19-year-old son, Conrad Bonnette, when he arrived at the home, after he pleaded for his life while Bonnette lay tied up in another room.

The 50-year-old was caught on January 11.

His three co-accused - Mmapuru Peter Mohlako, 34, Andries Paparona Sithole, 42, and Sello Frans Mphaka, 38 - were arrested within days of each other.

They had apparently been hired to remove palm trees from the garden of Kotze's rented Modimolle home.

Women's rights groups and protesters were expected to converge on the courthouse to support Bonnette.


Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said they would ensure order at Friday's hearing.

"Taking into consideration that the case has a lot of public interest, we expect a lot of people to attend. We will mobilise public order policing to be at the court early."

Sections of the courthouse would be cordoned off.

"We appeal to the public to behave themselves during the proceedings. Police will be in full force to ensure discipline," said Mulaudzi.

Only journalists with press cards would be allowed into the court room where the man and his co-accused would appear.

The national prosecuting authority said it was possible a bail application could be heard on Friday.

"There is a possibility that the matter may be postponed for further investigation, or that there may be a bail application for some of the accused," spokesperson Advocate Mthunzi Mhaga said.

"And if so the State will be ready to proceed."


ANC Women's League spokesperson Troy Martens said their members would be at court.

"We will be there every step of the way. We know that it's not easy to go through this process, but we want her [Bonnette] to know that she has the support of all South African women."

Another gang-rape victim, Jessica Foord, who was raped by four men in front of her father in Durban in 2008, sent a message of support to Bonnette during the court case.

"Have faith in yourself and know that South Africa is supporting you. You are an extremely brave women and we will be thinking of you tomorrow [Friday]," Foord told Sapa in a telephone interview.

"My advice to her would be to stay calm in court, state the truth and don't let his [Kotze's] lawyers intimidate you," said Foord, whose four rapists were convicted in 2009.

Bonnette had been married to Kotze for only four months, and had taken a restraining order out against him after the relationship soured.

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