Seeing Kotzé 'like looking at the devil'
Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld
Modimolle - A woman taking her two toddlers for a spin to lull them to sleep, says when she saw Johan Kotzé, dubbed the "Modimolle Monster", at a supermarket on Tuesday evening, it was like looking at the devil.
"I started shaking when I saw him," Surinda du Preez said on Thursday, adding "I could see in his eyes that he knew I'd recognised him."
Kotzé had been on the run for about a week after allegedly forcing three men at gunpoint to gang-rape his estranged wife and killing his stepson.
"We'd all been on the lookout for his [Toyota] Fortuner. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw it parked near the shop.
It was just after 20:00 when Du Preez stopped in front of the supermarket and looked in. "He was busy paying."
She said Kotzé had bought two 5 litre-bottles of water, energy drinks and bully beef.
"I started reversing and sped home," said Du Preez, who stays a block away from the supermarket.
Du Preez told a policeman who stays nearby that she'd seen Kotzé.
"At first they didn't want to believe me and kept on asking if I was sure it was him."
Convinced, Du Preez's husband, Anton, and his brother Werner took their Land Cruiser and went in the direction of the Drie Hekke smallholdings.
"There are several 4x4 routes there and my husband suspected that he'd go in that direction.
"They know the area and saw the Fortuner's tracks on the dirt road."
The two men followed the tracks. "Then they saw the interior light of the Fortuner go on."
They phoned the police, who were there within minutes. As Kotzé tried to get away, he crashed into a tree.
He then fled on foot.
"My husband and brother-in-law wanted to follow him, but the police warned them that he [Kotzé] was dangerous and a good shot.
"It is so arrogant of him to drive to town in his SUV with an FS registration number, which everyone was on the lookout for."
Kotzé is set to appear in court on Friday on charges of rape and murder.