Women come out in support of Bonnette
Modimolle - Women from all walks of life - young and old, black and white - sang and danced in solidarity outside the Modimolle Magistrate's Court on Friday ahead of the appearance of Johan Kotzé and his co-accused.
Friends wore pink T-shirts in support of the alleged victim, Ina Bonnette, 42. A group of teenage girls were dressed in denim shorts and white T-shirts bearing pictures of hearts and the words, "Vir Ina [For Ina]".
Her friend, Elize Coetzer, told reporters Bonnette had received a threatening phone call in Afrikaans on Thursday afternoon, but did not go into details.
When Kotzé arrived in a police van, protesters outside the court became rowdy, shouting at the "beast" to stay in jail. He is accused of masterminding an attack on his estranged wife and the murder of her 19-year-old son Conrad.
ANCWL applauds bravery
A group of ANC Women's League (ANCWL) members in black skirts, green tops and ANC caps sang "Asoze aphele amandla" (we will never give up our strength, we will never give up hope) loudly outside the court.
They carried posters reading: "Kotzé and cronies must face the music", "Real men don't kill" and "No bail for Kotzé".
Several men also stood watching as police guarded the area with the court gates still closed. A police Nyala was parked outside the court gate and police officers with riot gear were setting up.
ANCWL spokesperson Troy Martens said: "The Women's League would like to applaud Bonnette for her courage and bravery throughout this ordeal. She has shown incredible courage and we applaud her.
"The ANCWL will be there every step of the way. We know the court processes aren't easy after an ordeal of this nature, but we want Bonnette to know she has the support of all South African women."
Martens said no one deserved to go through what Bonnette had and her attackers' punishment should not be lenient.
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 Bonnette and mutilate her body with objects including nails, pliers, a grinder, and a screwdriver. He is further alleged to have shot her son Conrad Bonnette, who was lured to the house.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said on Thursday there was a possibility of a bail application for some of the accused.
"And if so the State will be ready to proceed."
Kotzé was arrested 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 to remove palm trees from the garden of Kotzé's rented home.
Bonnette had reportedly taken a restraining order out on Kotzé when the relationship soured.
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