Kotzé's accountability to be disputed

2013-04-15 22:12
Johan Kotzé (Picture: Sapa)

Johan Kotzé (Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - So-called "Modimolle monster" Johan Kotzé would argue non-pathological incapacity in his defence, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

Despite three psychiatrists finding Kotzé fit to stand trial, Piet Greyling, for Kotzé, told the court he would argue this in his client's defence.

The trial was postponed to Tuesday to allow Greyling time to get the records of court proceedings thus far.

The State closed its case on Monday on condition it could call expert witnesses to testify on Kotzé's accountability. Greyling said he would object to this.

He argued the State should call witnesses before closing its case. Acting Judge Bert Bam said the matter would be dealt with if and when it arose.

"We will cross that bridge when we get to it."

Earlier, on Monday the court heard testimony that Kotzé was not disassociated on the day of his arrest.

"He was tired and dejected," Kotzé's doctor Louis Pienaar told the court.

"He knew who I was. I summed him up as well orientated."

Pienaar told the court how police asked him to examine Kotzé after his arrest on 11 January 2012. He said he had treated Kotzé twice before.

Greyling questioned Pienaar on the possibility his client could have suffered from acute stress disorder.

Pienaar maintained Kotzé appeared well orientated. He said based on his appearance Kotzé did not suffer from anxiety or disassociation.

"I think it was a matter that he had reached the end of his [week on the run]."

Pienaar testified that no doctors wanted to examine Kotzé the day he was arrested. He said he was not on standby that day, but was called in.

"My secretary said no other doctor was prepared to look at him."

Pienaar testified about Kotzé's physical state when he arrived at his office.

"He was generally covered in dust. His clothes were also covered."

There were scratches on his forearms and lower legs and bruising on his head. Kotzé also said he had muscle cramps, was thirsty, and had higher than normal blood pressure.

Pienaar said the scratches appeared not to be self-inflicted. They were most likely from the thorn bushes Kotzé said he was hiding in, he said.

The State's last witness on Monday was Dr Susanna Grbe, an expert on sexual violence.

She first gave evidence in November and her cross-examination was continued on Monday.

Grbe gave her expert opinion in the field as she did not examine the victim, Ina Bonnette. She testified that between 10% and 30% of rape victims did not sustain injuries to their genitals.

"In most cases rape victims have more physical injuries than genital injuries."

Francois van As, the lawyer for two of Kotzé's co-accused, Pieta Mohlane and Frans Mphaka, asked whether Bonnette's genital injuries could have been cause by objects other than a penis.

He was referring to Bonnette's testimony that Kotzé inserted his thumb and a pair of tongs into her. Grbe said it was possible but not definitive.

"It is not excluded that there could have been penetration or penetration with an instrument."

Kotzé, Andries Sithole, Mohlane, and Mphaka are accused of murdering Kotzé's 19-year-old stepson Conrad Bonnette at Kotzé's house in Modimolle on 3 January.

They are also accused of kidnapping, assaulting, repeatedly raping, and attempting to murder Ina Bonnette earlier that day.

A plea of not guilty was noted on Kotzé's behalf after he refused to enter a plea, and claimed his accountability and ability to follow and contribute to court proceedings were in question.

His three co-accused all pleaded not guilty to the charges. They claimed Kotzé forced them to take part in the attack on Bonnette and said they had only pretended to rape her.

Bonnette testified Kotzé tortured her with various objects before instructing the other three to rape her.

She told the court she listened to her son pleading for his life before he was shot in the head and heart.

Read more on:    johan kotze  |  ina bonnette  |  mbombela

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