The Modimolle Magistrate's Court on Friday prohibited the taking of photographs of four men accused of torturing and raping a woman.
“I hereby issue an order that no photos, still or moving, may be taken inside court of the accused by the media or public,” Magistrate Hannes Stoffberg said.
“This doesn't mean notes can't be taken.”
Johan Kotze, Andries Sithole, Peter Mohlako and Sello Frans Mphaka are accused of torturing and raping Kotze's estranged wife Ina Bonette in January this year. This was the first time the four appeared in court together.
Kotze had 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 also 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 public gallery. A neatly-shaven Kotze sat in the dock, wearing a yellow checked shirt, blue jeans and jacket.
A small group of ANC Women's League members stood quietly outside the court holding posters that read “no bail for murderers and rapists”.
Kotze previously chose not to apply for bail. His co-accused were denied bail after they failed to prove there were exceptional circumstances justifying their release. – Sapa