Kotzé lived in his car, went to shops

2012-01-12 07:49

Modimolle - While the police, the Hawks and Interpol were searching for him all over the country, South Africa's most wanted crime suspect was living just outside Modimolle for more than a week.

He also drove at least once to buy food at a local supermarket in his white Toyota Fortuner, which the police were searching for just as hard.

Johan Kotzé, 50, was living in his Toyota barely two kilometres outside this Limpopo town.

He was arrested at 11:45 on Wednesday morning at a friend’s house in a quiet street, to which he had walked.


He arrived quite calmly at the home of the friend, Dirk van der Merwe, in Schoeman Street.

"I got the fright of my life. All he said was, ‘We must talk’,” a shocked Van der Merwe said on Wednesday. Van der Merwe phoned the police, after which detectives went to arrest Kotzé.

Beeld was told that Kotzé even kept a daily diary from last Tuesday. It is not known what he wrote in it.

Kotzé apparently hired three men last Tuesday and allegedly forced them to rape his estranged wife. He allegedly tortured and sodomised her himself.

He apparently also shot and killed his stepson, Conrad Bonnette, 19, in cold blood.

“Thank goodness!” she said on Wednesday when she was informed that Kotzé had been arrested. She is still in a place of safety.

Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said one of the three alleged rapists was arrested at about 30 minutes past midnight on Wednesday morning in Hammanskraal outside Pretoria. The man, 42, is in police custody. His two accomplices are still at large.

Spotted in town

Kotzé was seen at Duggans Supermarket in Boshoff Street in Modimolle on Tuesday evening, where he bought bread and corned beef. Frances du Preez, a town resident, said her daughter-in-law, Surinda du Preez, was driving along Boshoff Street at about 20:00 to “lull her children to sleep”.

“She saw the Fortuner approaching from the front. She stopped at the café, looked in at the door and directly into his face. She got a big fright.”

Surinda then phoned Du Preez, who informed her two sons, Anton and Werner. They informed the police and drove to the Drie Hekke smallholdings, where they thought the Fortuner had gone.

Drie Hekke is about two kilometres from an old power station and about five kilometres from Van der Merwe’s house. The area is thickly wooded.

Here Kotzé had crashed into a thorn tree. The Du Preez brothers discovered the vehicle, with its lights still on. The windscreen was cracked and the mudguard bent. Kotzé had fled further on foot before they arrived.

“He was right under our noses and no one could find him,” Du Preez said.

Beeld has heard that Kotzé also went to buy food at the supermarket on Sunday evening.

There were two blankets on the vehicle’s back seat. A gas bottle, velskoens and several empty cooldrink bottles were found in the back of the car.

On the front seat was an A4 writing pad in which Kotzé wrote something every day. “He was definitely living in the car,” a police officer said.


According to Van der Merwe, who owns the house in Church Street in which the tragedy took place, Kotzé looked world-weary and dishevelled when he arrived at his house in Schoeman Street - just a stone’s throw away from the supermarket where Kotzé had bought food.

“I said I would have someone make us some coffee and then phoned the police.”

The police questioned Van der Merwe on Wednesday. He said he did not offer shelter to Kotzé. Kotzé had reportedly phoned him last Wednesday and said he is “tired of life”.

Kotzé will appear in the Modimolle magistrate’s court on Friday on various charges, including murder.

His murdered stepson will be buried on Friday.

  • Izaan - 2012-01-12 08:00

    Ok now you have him. Instead of wasting tax payers' money... just give him right back to the public...

      Piet - 2012-01-12 08:14


      Squeegee - 2012-01-12 08:32

      Yesterday he was arrested in an abandoned building, today its at a friend's house. Sigh! Can we trust any facts in these articles by News24?

      Ernst - 2012-01-12 09:17

      Squeegee, there is another version, he was walking in the street, on his way to a friends house, when he was aprehended! The house in the veld version, I heard a sound clip from the Brigadier himself! lol

  • Enoak - 2012-01-12 08:13

    He was found in the bushes, He was found in his car, He was found at a friends house. What is the real story.

      madsipho - 2012-01-12 08:34

      Poor article!

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-01-12 09:15

      Just read properly and make sense out of it

      Margaret - 2012-01-12 10:26

      Yes Enoak - really confusing - and then we wonder why the Government wants to regulate the Media - they can't get their reports right - three variations of the same incident?..... And I am sure that when the case comes to court (2-5yrs time) we will get another version! This is an utter disgrace and shows that Reporters are liars and twisters of facts. Don't believe anything you read ....... Its just sensationalism. I am beinning to wonder if he did the things they have said he did?

  • Johan - 2012-01-12 08:15

    The worst criminal ever. That hiding right under the police's nose sh1t only works on CSI.

  • Johannvw13 - 2012-01-12 08:39

    Why is his face covered ? Most of the country have all ready seen photos of him on the news and now his face is covered after he is caught... Stupidity rules supreme in this country.

      Schmee - 2012-01-12 08:52

      The cops probably put it over his head because they are embarrassed to be seen with him.

      keketso.polisa1 - 2012-01-12 11:20

      Probably they have the wrong man.

  • mokgadim - 2012-01-12 08:47

    Dear SAPS, Please tie him up and let me borrow him (in the cell) for about half an hour. Thanks!

  • Thoka - 2012-01-12 08:53

    SAPS you must use my nose next time, I told he was hiding in a farm somewhere in Limpopo. News 24 reporter stay out of any Bar only then you shall get news first hand.

  • Nosiphom - 2012-01-12 08:58

    Where are those who were forever commenting about the genocide perpetreted by blacks on whites ? Crime idiots, is colour blind. Statistically there will be more black criminals than whites, based on the population statistics. So atwe expect about 80% of criminals to be black and 5% to be white, ja. However this is not so because the economic realities mean that the ratio of poor blacks to poor whites is not 80:5 as it should be, but something like 95:2, meaning therefore that at least 95% of criminals will be black and only at most 2% white. So stop the nonsence you racists.

      Johan - 2012-01-12 09:15

      Economic realities? Beg to differ. That ratio that you mentioned seems to be worldwide. So do blacks ALL OVER THE GLOBE have that excuse waxed? There is the population factor which you correctly mentioned. However, there is also research that shows that blacks are 11 time more likely to commit a crime compared to whites. So using "economic realities" excuse is a little sad wouldn't you say?

      Philip - 2012-01-12 09:28


      Moi - 2012-01-12 09:49

      What does this have to do with Kotze being arrested?

      Nosiphom - 2012-01-12 12:44

      Moi1980 - if you have read comments on News 24 crime stories as long as I have, you will know the relevance.

  • Dwen-Hein - 2012-01-12 09:13

    No death penalty, no solitary confinement, thats too easy... He has to suffer and live the rest of his life in the crappiest, dirtiest most unhygenic prison, where the only shower he gets is to be hozed down once a week, get raped, pushed around, he has to live in fear and terror, thinking of waht he has done until the very last of days... Whagt a cruel man... This could seriously happen to anyone... Wow!! shocking..

      Johan - 2012-01-12 09:22


  • TheWatcher - 2012-01-12 09:15

    Thumbs up to the public for finding him. I don't know why police don't erect billboards with pictures of the most wanted criminals around the country. Most of these guys hide in plain sight simply because people don't know what they look like.

      Ingrid - 2012-01-12 09:40

      PLEASE man, they had his ugly brutal looking face splashed all over the show.Every newspaper, in magazines, on tv....

      Margaret - 2012-01-12 10:32

      The Watcher - Answer - The photocopy machine is broken.......................!

      TheWatcher - 2012-01-12 11:01

      @ingrid I was talking in general...

      Louise - 2012-01-12 13:19

      Are you MAD! Cape Town already has a major road named Gert van Rooyen (pedophile), I certainly don't want to be confronted with the faces of SA's worst criminals on my daily drive to work!

  • Vegi - 2012-01-12 09:16

    He is very dumb. If he had any semblance of intelligence he should have killed himself after what he did. Beastly moron.

      Johan - 2012-01-12 09:18

      This once I will agree with you.

  • Thoka - 2012-01-12 09:21

    I hate to say this, there is more to this PIg to what meet the eye. I read EX's story and they pleading for investigation for a murder in 1993 of Bab Botha, suicide because of immtional and financial abuse, whats next? I wish he was captured by community members.

  • Luke - 2012-01-12 09:22

    What a horrible story.

  • Jimmy - 2012-01-12 09:28

    Oh thats just rich, and the whole time the cops were saying he's a very intelligent and crafty caracter they even suspected he had slipped the border at some stage , meanwhile back at the ranch....

      Johan - 2012-01-12 09:50

      Yep... He probably drove past the Modimolle Police station about 19 times while they were inside trying to figure out what to tell the press next.

      Maryna - 2012-01-12 09:50

      Ya he was doing the tango, right under everyone's nose!!!! Quite upsetting!!!! Then we have to trust the cops... hell no!!!!

  • kerrimg - 2012-01-12 10:00

    at the end of the day the scumbag been arrested on the crimes he has done well done to the public who reconised him. lets hope the courts now get it right and lock him up forever

  • Vegi - 2012-01-12 10:02

    He said "I am tired of life". If you alienate everybody you are bound to be tired of life very soon. Good relations with other people is what makes life worth living. He is also a liar and a fool. If he was tired of life why did he not take his life.

      Marieta De Beer - 2012-01-14 23:09

      It takes a man to do that...he's too f*kt*p too even realize that whould have been the better option for him... his loud mouth carried him in where his feets not gonna walk him out again....

  • Billy - 2012-01-12 10:11

    The esteemed Piet Beyleveldt is quoted as saying Kotze's arrest was due to "outstanding police work". What crap - he was delivered to the police on a plate.

  • Peace - 2012-01-12 10:12

    if he was tired of life why didn`t he hang himself?

  • neo.matsena - 2012-01-12 10:15

    this is a merciless ad babaric crime. sies tog. who does this?

  • anthony.swart - 2012-01-12 10:24

    News 24 black empowerment working 24/7

  • bretton.eveleigh - 2012-01-12 10:27

    Anybody say death sentence?

  • lilly.phogole - 2012-01-12 11:20


  • nikkiduku - 2012-01-12 11:26

    Thank God!

  • Pixie86 - 2012-01-12 11:37

    Johan kotze, don't drop the soap!

  • yolani.vdw - 2012-01-12 11:59

    How did the police search that they could not find him under their noses?

  • Martie - 2012-01-12 12:45

    Interesting observation.....Piet Beyleveldt said that if he was asked by the family, he will assist in finding Kotze. He also mentioned that the police must look close to home. He believed that Kotze was still in the area and he was so right.

      Marieta De Beer - 2012-01-14 22:44

      I'm also thinking his "friend" knew more about Kotzes where abouts.

  • Paulo - 2012-01-12 12:46

    sorry but you can't help but think the cops up that part of the world aren't the brightest-looking all over the country and with interpol and yet the guy has been chilling in his car for almost the last week. not good enough, but at least they caught now for the docket bungle up.

      Marieta De Beer - 2012-01-14 23:00

      Twats!! No method to their madness !!! Even in my simplicity I would have thought that place could be a perfect hiding place , every clue is vital and every second counts. Also there is ALWAYS some family or friend informing them. Following FB and media comments can really play cat and mouse forever. Holy hell! How arrogant of him

  • Vivian - 2012-01-12 12:52

    Hang the b"#tard

  • Jim - 2012-01-12 14:48

    I guess its true what they say, ayikho impunga yehlathi.

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