Kotzé: I didn't want to hurt Ina

2013-04-16 14:22
Johan Kotzé (Picture: Sapa)

Johan Kotzé (Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria – A tearful Johan Kotzé told the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday he never intended hurting his ex-wife Ina Bonnette.

"I did not want to hurt her," he said.

Kotzé, Andries Sithole, Pieta Mohlane, and Frans Mphaka are accused of murdering Kotzé's 19-year-old stepson Conrad Bonnette at Kotzé's house in Modimolle on 3 January last year.

They are also accused of kidnapping, assaulting, repeatedly raping, and attempting to murder Kotzé’s ex-wife.

Kotzé told the court on Tuesday he found his three co-accused attacking Bonnette in a room in his house.

"I tried to get her out of this thing and I tried to protect her."

‘I told him to please go’

He said he tried to fight them off, but occasionally left the room.

"Andries [Sithole] stood in front of me and I just saw Ina's legs. I touched Andries on the shoulder and told him please, please don't hurt Ina."

Bonnette, who attended proceedings, shook her head. Kotzé said Sithole asked him about money. He had hired his three co-accused to do work at his house.

"I just told him go, please, please just get out of the house."

He said the three men later left.

Kotzé, sobbing, told the court he then returned to the room where Bonnette was.

"I was terribly angry, I can remember that."

He said he wanted to talk to Bonnette about New Year's Eve, when he said he saw her cheating on him.

He said Bonnette said she would never cheat on him and he told her "I saw you".

Kotzé walked around the house, shouting at Bonnette. He found a needle on a table.

"I definitely confronted her... I didn't want to hurt her... I would step away... then I would see blood... then I would realise things were going wrong."

‘I didn’t realise I pushed the needle into her breasts’

He said he threatened Bonnette with the needle because he saw her with another man.

"I did not realise that I pushed the needle into her breasts."

He said he found a pair of pliers.

"And I just saw blood and then I got frightened."

Kotzé described how he would lie down next to Bonnette and talk to her. He said he would be calm one minute and enraged the next.

Bonnette asked him to call her son. When he arrived with a friend Kotzé told the other boy to fetch something outside the house.

‘No uncle don’t’

When Conrad asked where his mother was Kotzé directed him to the room she was in. As the boy was walking towards the room Kotzé picked up a gun.

"I can't remember... the only thing I will always remember was that he said 'no uncle don't'," he said.
"A shot went off. I heard it."

A plea of not guilty was noted on Kotzé's behalf after he refused to enter a plea, claiming his accountability and ability to follow and contribute to court proceedings were in question.

His three co-accused all pleaded not guilty to the charges. They claimed Kotzé forced them to take part in the attack on Bonnette and said they had only pretended to rape her.

Bonnette has testified Kotzé tortured her with various objects before instructing the other three to rape her. She told the court she listened to her son pleading for his life before he was shot in the head and heart.

The trial was postponed to 09:00 on Wednesday to allow the defence teams and the State time to consult.
Read more on:    johan kotze  |  ina bonnette  |  polokwane

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