Kotze ‘begged’ co-accused not to hurt his wife

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INLSA

TEARFUL: Ina Bonnette in the Pretoria High Court. Picture: Chris Collingridge

ZELDA VENTER

JOHAN Kotze remembers “cautiously” pushing a needle into his then estranged wife’s breast and “hurting” her nipple with pliers, but he was so upset and afraid when he saw blood, that he “took care of her” so she should not bleed any more.

This was part of the so-called Modimolle Monster’s version, as put to Ina Bonnette yesterday by Kotze’s advocate, Bernard Bantjes, during her third day in the witness box in the Pretoria High Court.

Kotze claimed this week that while Bonnette walked down the passage in his house in Modimolle to fetch her belongings in the bedroom, he suddenly heard her shouting hysterically.

He ran into the bedroom and saw that she was overpowered by three men, who he “begged” not to hurt her.

Kotze, according to his version, was at that stage already beside himself as Bonnette “had cheated” on him a few nights before the incident on January 3. He hurled abuse at her when she walked down the passage, and by the time he got to the bedroom and saw the three men attacking his then wife, he was so emotional that he could not exactly remember what transpired around him.

“He can remember leaving the room and frantically walking around the house, shouting and holding his head. He… then went back to the room,” Bantjes said.

He said Kotze would testify that when he entered the room, he saw that Bonnette’s legs were around the body of accused Andries Sithole. The latter’s pants were on his shoes.

“Kotze said he immediately spoke softly to the man and asked him nicely not to hurt you. The three then left the room,” Bantjes said.

According to Kotze’s version, he lay on the bed next to Bonnette [who at that stage was tied up and gagged] and they spoke about their relationship. He then “cautiously” stuck a needle into her breast, before again talking to her about her “infidelities”.

Bonnette said there was no conversation as her mouth was taped, but Kotze did indeed rant and rave, she said.

Kotze claimed he took pliers and “hurt” her nipple, but that he got a fright when he saw the blood.

“He said he honestly could not control himself… It was never his intention to hurt you. He says he is not a person who would hurt anybody,” Bantjes said.

Bonnette was adamant that she was severely tortured by Kotze.

Kotze’s version is that he dozed off next to Bonnette on the bed from time to time, but when he noticed her bleeding, it had upset him and he “took care” of her by treating her with a substance he had in the house.

Bonnette’s version is that he poured the substance over her mutilated breasts and her private parts.

She broke down when Kotze’s version was put to her that she was the one who wanted her son Conrad to come to the house that day. The court earlier heard from Conrad’s friend that Kotze lured the 19 year old to his home.

Bantjes said Kotze would testify that when he heard Conrad outside the house, he left his gun next to a window and opened the door for Conrad. The youngster asked where his mother was, and Kotze said she was in the bedroom.

As they walked down the passage, Kotze turned back and fetched his gun.

“Conrad again asked where his mother was and Kotze got a fright. Conrad went into a room and Kotze stood at the door. Conrad said ‘please uncle, don’t’. Kotze can remember he did not aim, but that a shot went off. He then saw Conrad falling to his knees,” Bantjes said.

Bonnette, in tears, told the court that she could clearly hear her child begging for his life, followed by three shots.

Bantjes said after shooting Conrad, Kotze got into his car and drove off.


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