Kotze's co-accused 'acted under duress'

2012-03-30 14:22
Modimolle - The three men charged along with Johan Kotze for an attack on his wife acted under duress, the Modimolle Magistrate's Court heard on Friday.

In affidavits before court, the accused said they were afraid of Kotze, who threatened them with a gun and assaulted them.

Andries Sithole, 42, told the court that Kotze called them "kaffirs" during the ordeal.

"I was not willing, he forced me to commit a crime. I feel violated and humiliated," Sithole said.

He had acted as an interpreter to the other two because they could not understand Afrikaans.

"I was interpreting instructions from Kotze to them."

Sithole said he needed to be released on bail to support his wife and a 4-year-old daughter.

He was self-employed as a builder and earned about R5 000 a month before he was arrested.

In his bail application, Peter Mohlako, 33, said if he stayed in custody he would not be able to support his girlfriend, who was expecting their first child.

"I will not be there when my girlfriend gives birth," he said.

Forced to commit the crime

Frans Mphaka, 29, said he needed to be released on bail so that he could find a job. He indicated to the court that if he remained in custody he would miss job opportunities.

The three men said they would plead not guilty to the charges and would be able to afford bail of R500.

They all indicated that though they had been charged along with Kotze, society was not angry at them because the public was aware that they were forced to commit the crime.

If they were released on bail they would not interfere with witnesses and were not flight risks.

The men are charged with gang-raping Kotze's wife and mutilating her body with objects including nails, a screwdriver, and a grinder, while Kotze allegedly held them at gunpoint on January 03.

They had been hired to work in the garden of Kotze's rented home in Modimolle when he allegedly forced them to attack his wife. Kotze also allegedly killed his stepson after luring him to the house.

Heavy rain fell just before noon and the court ordered that their application be delayed because it was interfering with the recording system.

Read more on:    johan kotze  |  polokwane

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