Graeme Hosken and Yusuf Omar
POLICE have caught Johan Kotze, the man dubbed the “Modimolle Monster”, just hours after seizing his crashed car following a high-speed chase though his home town.
He was nabbed while walking in the street in Modimolle at about noon. No further details were available at the time of going to press.
Early this morning police also swooped on an RDP house and arrested one of the men who Kotze allegedly ordered to gang- rape his wife at gunpoint.
“Today is his day. He can run, but he can’t hide. It is just a matter of time before we get him,” Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said of Kotze before the capture.
Kotze’s Toyota Fortuner SUV was spotted in the town last night and police were notified, setting off a high-speed chase through the usually sleepy town. The driver crashed the car into a tree after apparently taking a wrong turn, and escaped on foot.
Mulaudzi said police were “99.9 percent” sure that Kotze had been the driver. There was no indication that anyone else had been in the vehicle.
Police found blood in the Fortuner and the imprint of a head is clear against the windscreen. Believing the suspect to be injured, police launched an extensive search of the area.
Police with tracker dogs combed the veld with support from the air wing. “The police investigations are at an advanced and sensitive stage and arrests are imminent… We have police helicopters in the sky and the K9 unit on the ground,” said Mulaudzi this morning.
Police are also closing in on other suspects in the case.
Early this morning, one of the workers who was allegedly forced at gunpoint to rape Kotze’s estranged wife was arrested in Makapanstad, north of Pretoria.
The 42-year-old man was arrested at 12.30am in an RDP house. He is due to appear in the Modimolle Magistrate’s Court on Friday to face rape charges.
“We surprised him,” said Mulaudzi, describing how police stormed the small house and caught the suspect in bed.
He confirmed that the man was a South African, contrary to earlier reports that the workers were foreigners.
“He will be charged with rape. Despite being held against his will, the suspect ran away, making him an accomplice to the crime. We will obviously oppose bail.”
While police are reluctant to share their leads, Mulaudzi said there were two large groups of police involved in the investigations, one focusing on Kotze and the other on the two remaining suspects on the run.
The manhunt was launched a week ago after it was alleged that Kotze, 50, lured the woman to his rented home in Modimolle to discuss their divorce.
He is then alleged to have used his estranged wife’s cellphone to also trick her teenage son into coming to the house.
Once at the house, the son was allegedly overpowered, and his mother was forced to listen as he begged for his life, before he was executed with a gunshot to the back of the head.
Kotze allegedly ordered his three casual workers to gang-rape his estranged wife and maim her.
Earlier this week the woman discharged herself from hospital.
A close friend of the woman said although she was not healed she was stable enough to be moved.