A tool used to torture a Modimolle woman was later used to free her, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.
Vivienne van der Merwe testified that she went to the house of Johan Kotze late on the afternoon of January 3 at the request of her husband, Dirk.
He asked her to go and find out what was going on at Kotze’s house, after Kotze told him in a phone call that he was on his way out of town and that Van der Merwe would not see him again.
Kotze had been renting the house in Modimolle from the Van der Merwes.
Vivienne van der Merwe found Marthinus Cloete at the house, but did not suspect anything was wrong until Cloete told her he had seen movement in one of the rooms.
Inside, she found Kotze’s estranged wife, Ina Bonette, tied to the window and bed with cable-ties and a rope.
She had been gagged, her breasts were exposed and there was blood on her nipples and marks on both her breasts.
Van der Merwe used a side-cutter on a table next to the bed to free Bonette, who told her three men had raped her.
Bonette testified earlier that Kotze used the side-cutter to cut off one of her nipples and a small saw to remove her other nipple during a prolonged torture session.
Kotze had directed his three co-accused to rape her.
Bonette told the court she listened to her son Conrad pleading for his life before he was shot dead.
Van der Merwe testified that she ran out of the house, phoned her husband and asked him to call the police.
In the meantime, Bonette and Cloete had found the body of Bonette’s son, Conrad, in another room.
Bonette told Van der Merwe her son had been shot and insisted that they get to the police as quickly as possible, because Kotze was on his way to her parents. Van der Merwe told the court of a confrontation with Kotze during dinner the previous evening, when she had told him to sort out his problems with Bonette because his friends were tired of hearing about them.
She was not surprised to see Bonette’s car at the house, because Kotze had told her they were getting together to reach an agreement.
Kotze, Andries Sithole, Pieta Mohlanhe and Frans Mphaka are accused of murdering Conrad Bonette and of kidnapping, repeatedly raping, assaulting and attempting to murder Ina Bonette.
Police cellphone expert Captain Francois Möller testified that Kotze and Sithole had phoned each other many times between December 20, 2011 and January 3.
Kotze had also bombarded Bonette with phone calls and text messages between November 1 last year and January 3 this year, and clocked up 154 calls and 184 text messages.
Kotze’s records also showed he had tried to phone Bonette on the night after her ordeal, while he was still on the run.
The trial continues. – Sapa