Psychologist: Kotzé in control of himself

2013-07-03 13:57
Johan Kotzé (Picture: Sapa)

Johan Kotzé (Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - A clinical psychologist told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday he did not agree that "Modimolle monster" Johan Kotzé was in a dissociative state when he attacked his wife and her son.

Cobus Coetzee said he did not agree with defence psychologist Tertia Spangenberg that Kotzé could not be held accountable for his actions because he was in a non-pathological dissociative state at the time.

Spangenberg, who assessed Kotzé for two months, diagnosed him as suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder, major depression, and acute stress disorder.

She said this had led to Kotzé entering a state of non-pathological dissociation, where he was unable to control himself.

Coetzee and three psychiatrists evaluated Kotzé at the Weskoppies psychiatric hospital in Pretoria for two months. The panel concluded that Kotzé did not suffer from any mental disorder and was capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his actions and act accordingly.

Kotzé hazy about events


Kotzé, Andries Sithole, Pieta Mohlake, and Sello Mphaka have pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, assaulting, raping, and attempting to murder Kotzé’s ex-wife Ina Bonnette, and murdering her 19-year-old son Conrad in Kotzé’s Modimolle home on 3 January 2012.

The State alleges Kotzé orchestrated the revenge attack on Bonnette and her son.

Bonnette testified that Kotzé sexually tortured her and cut off her nipples before telling the others to rape her while she lay tied to a bed. She was forced to listen to her son pleading for his life before Kotzé shot and killed him.

Although Kotzé could recall the events before and after the crimes in detail, he was hazy about what happened and claimed he begged the others not to hurt Bonnette. He said he could remember handling the murder weapon, but could not remember pulling the trigger.

Coetzee testified that Kotzé did not suffer from any pathological conditions. He might possibly have narcissistic traits, but did not suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder. Coetzee could find no proof of major depression at the time of the crimes.

Criteria for acute stress disorder not met

He said classic signs of depression included a depressed mood, suicide attempts, and withdrawal from society, which was not the case with Kotzé.

"Episodes of a depressed mood do not mean there is major depression that is so severe that it could affect criminal responsibility," he said.

Coetzee said Kotzé did not meet the criteria for acute stress disorder.

It was also unlikely that Kotzé would have been in a dissociative state for a long period or that he would have experienced so-called mini episodes of dissociation without an underlying cause such as dementia or Alzheimer's.

Kotzé’s conduct before, during, and after the attack pointed to someone able to plan and act rationally, Coetzee said. He conceded that certain parts of Kotzé’s conduct did not make sense, but this did not mean he could not be held accountable.

The trial continues.
Read more on:    johan kotzé  |  ina bonnette  |  polokwane

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