19.11.2012 Johan Kotze accused of murdering his stepson Conrad Bonnette, torturing and sexually abusing his ex wife Ina at the start of the trial in the Pretoria High court Picture: Etienne Creux




Pretoria - The alleged “Modimolle monster” Johan Kotze claims he tried to help his wife by begging his co-accused not to harm her, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.



Bernard Bantjes, for Kotze, put this version of the events of January 3 this year to Kotze's former wife Ina Bonette.



Bonette began testifying against Kotze, Andries Sithole, Pieta Mohlane and Frans Mphaka on Tuesday.



The four are accused of murdering Bonette's 19-year-old son Conrad and of kidnapping, repeatedly raping, assaulting and trying to murder her.



Bonette was still married to Kotze, but lived in her own flat at the time.



She testified that Kotze tortured her with various objects, sawed and cut off both of her nipples and encouraged the other three men to rape her.



She heard her son begging for his life, followed by three shots. She later found him dead in the room next door.



Bantjes suggested that she had brought Kotze to the impression that she wanted to reconcile.



Bonette denied having sex with Kotze at her flat in November, spending time with him at a holiday resort and arranging to spend the evening with him on New Year's Eve, but then ignoring him.



It was put to her that Kotze drove to a holiday resort near Modimolle on New Year's Eve, and saw Bonette dancing, kissing and cuddling another man.



He drove to her flat to wait for her and saw the other man expose and stroke her breasts, which “greatly upset him”.



Bonette admitted being with another man, but said she and Kotze had been estranged at the time. She denied that the incident he described had ever taken place.



Bantjes said Kotze would testify that this was “the final straw” for him and had prompted him to write a letter which police later found in his house.



In the letter, Kotze, among other things, described Bonette as a liar who had cheated on him with other men.



He said she had ruined his life, had even made him sell his farm, and that he was “done, done, done”.



Kotze's version was that Bonette went to his house on January 3



to discuss his unhappiness about the events on New Year's Eve.



Bonette denied this and said they had talked about their divorce. Kotze had asked her to fetch some of her things.



According to Kotze's lawyer, Bonette had removed a vibrator (he earlier claimed she had named it “Blink Stefaans”) from her handbag, had thrown it onto a table and had told him he could use it on his next girlfriend.



His version was that he screamed “ugly things” at her when she walked into the house.



According to Kotze, he was in the bathroom when he heard Bonette screaming. When he entered the bedroom, he saw his three co-accused had grabbed her.



Bantjes put it to Bonette that Kotze had pushed the whole group before pushing Bonette onto the bed and asking her why she was cheating on him.



“He remembers trying to stop the men... He says he remembers yelling and twice asking them to please not hurt her.



“... Andries (Sithole) was the tall one and he kept on saying, telling him to please, please, please, please, please not hurt her,” said Bantjes.



“The accused says after he pushed you and you fell onto the bed he held your arm while one of the other three tied you up,” he said.



At times, Bonette seemed to lose her cool, but remained calm and stuck to her version.



The trial continues on Thursday. - Sapa