Kotze to be sent for evaluation

 Johan Kotze, accused of orchestrating the gang rape of his estranged wife and killing her son, will be sent for mental evaluation, the Modimolle Magistrate's Court ruled on Friday.

“Kotze meets the requirements in terms of the law and should be admitted to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital for evaluation,” magistrate Hannes Stoffberg said.

Murder accused Johan Kotze, who allegedly killed his stepson, Conrad Bonnette and orchestrated the gang-rape of his estranged wife Ina Bonnette, appears in the Modimolle Magistrate's Court with three co-accused. Photo: Phill Magakoe. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

“Steps should be taken, as soon as possible, to book a bed for Kotze. (He) will stay in custody until a bed is available, then he will be transferred from the Pretoria Central Prison for evaluation.”

Stoffberg transferred the trial to the High Court in Pretoria where it would run from November 19 to 30.

Kotze's defence argued he be sent for evaluation, saying the crimes committed were not the “normal run-of-the-mill” ones.

Kotze, 50, Andries Sithole, Peter Mohlako, and Sello Frans Mphaka are accused of torturing and raping Kotze's estranged wife Ina Bonette in January this year. Friday was the first time the four appeared in court together.

Kotze hired the three men to work in the garden of his rented home in Modimolle. On January 3, he allegedly forced them at gunpoint to rape his ex-wife and mutilate her with objects including nails, a screwdriver, and an angle-grinder. Kotze lured his stepson, Conrad, to the house and allegedly shot and killed him.

Conrad's father, grandfather, aunt, and uncle sat in the front row of the packed courtroom. The neatly-shaven Kotze wore a yellow checked shirt, blue jeans, and a jacket.

Kotze previously chose not to apply for bail. His co-accused were denied bail after they failed to prove there were exceptional circumstances for them to qualify.

Stoffberg earlier ruled that no photographs could be taken of the four men inside court. – Sapa