Kotzé: Protests planned outside court

2012-02-09 14:13
Johannesburg - The man accused of orchestrating the torture and gang-rape of his estranged wife and the killing of her son - is due to make a second appearance in court on Friday.

"We will be there every step of the way," ANC Women's League spokesperson Troy Martens said on Thursday.

Women's rights groups and protesters were expected to converge in numbers on the Modimolle Magistrate's Court to support survivor Ina Bonnette, who was expected to be present on Friday.

Johan Kotzé faces 17 charges including rape, murder, conspiracy to rape, kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

"We know that it's not easy to go through this process but we want her to know that she has the support of all South African women," said Martens.

Support

Every woman who heard about this case felt violated, she said.

"We hope that justice will be served."

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 ahead of the appearance.

"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 said.

"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.

Kotze allegedly ordered his three workers to gang-rape the 42-year-old and mutilate her body with objects including nails, pliers, a grinder, and a screwdriver.

He is further alleged to have shot dead her 19-year-old son, Conrad Bonnette, after he had pleaded for his life while Bonnette lay tied up in another room.

Counselling


The 50-year-old was tracked down by the police after being on the run for eight days.

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 on January 4 to remove palm trees from the garden of Kotzé's rented Modimolle home.

Bonnette, who has given the media permission to identify her, returned to her job at an insurance firm two weeks ago, but is still receiving psychological counselling, Beeld newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, Modimolle residents were planning a fundraising event on March 3 to help Bonnette with the costs of her reconstructive surgery, estimated at R70 000.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in January called on the media to stop labelling Kotzé a monster, saying in a letter to The Star: "He [Kotzé] may indeed be guilty of inhuman, ghastly and monstrous deeds, but he is not a monster.

"We are actually letting him off lightly by calling him a monster, because monsters have no moral sense of right and wrong.”

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

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Read more on:    johan kotze  |  polokwane
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