No bail bid by Kotzé
Modimolle - The man dubbed the "Modimolle Monster", Johan Kotzé, has not applied for bail, the Modimolle Magistrate's Court heard on Friday.
His three co-accused - Mmapuru Peter Mohlako, 34, Andries Paparona Sithole, 42, and Sello Frans Mphaka, 38 - also abandoned their bail applications.
Women who turned up at the court approved. ANC Women’s League spokesperson Troy Martens said: "We are pleased by this. Women would not feel safe if Kotzé was out on the streets."
Kotzé faces 17 charges, including rape, murder, conspiracy to rape, kidnapping, and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
On January 3, he allegedly ordered his three workers at gunpoint to gang-rape his estranged wife Ina Bonnette, and mutilate her body with objects including nails, pliers, a grinder, and a screwdriver.
Monster ‘motionless’ in the dock
The 50-year-old man is further alleged to have shot her 19-year-old son, Conrad Bonnette.
Kotzé stood motionless in the dock wearing a pair of baggy blue jeans and a checked shirt.
His co-accused covered their heads with jackets as photographers pointed cameras at them before proceedings began.
Members of the ANCWL and public displayed placards in the public gallery as the four entered the packed court room. An earlier ban on publishing pictures of one of Kotzé's co-accused was lifted.
The court heard that a date would be set for trial and the case might be moved to a High Court. Forensic and ballistic evidence was still outstanding. The matter was postponed to May 11 for further investigation.
Earlier outside court, throngs of women - young and old, black and white - sang and danced in solidarity against women abuse. Some carried placards that read: "Real men don’t kill", "Stop abuse", and "No bail for Kotzé and cronies".
Threatening phone call
Several police officers kept watch. Bonnette, who was not at court as initially planned, apparently received a threatening phone call on Thursday, her friend Elize Coetzer told reporters.
The caller spoke in Afrikaans and told Bonnette, 42, he was watching her, she said. As a result she was advised not to come to court on Friday.
Kotzé was arrested after being on the run for eight days. His co-accused were arrested within days of each other.
They had apparently been hired to remove palm trees from the garden of Kotzé’s rented Modimolle home, to which the mother and son were lured.
Bonnette had been married to Kotzé for only four months and had taken out a restraining order on him when the relationship soured.
Rumours that Kotzé had been served with divorce papers before the court hearing on Friday could not be confirmed.