Entrance to the farm where the attack took place. Picture: Soraya Crowie/ANA
Kimberley - The State has added a charge of rape to the docket in the case involving the brutal attack on well-known businessman Piet Els and his partner on his farm outside Kimberley on January 23.

The couple were severely assaulted and burnt with an iron by a number of men, who later fled with firearms, jewellery, cash and cellphones.

They fled the scene in Els’ Mercedes Benz, which was later found abandoned next to the R31 road to Barkly West.

While a 25-year-old man appeared in court last Wednesday in connection with the robbery and attack, a second accused, Motlalentwe Qhantse, appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of housebreaking and robbery as well as rape.

During court proceedings, Qhantse continually put up his hand in an attempt to draw the attention of the magistrate.

He showed his bare feet to the court, complaining that he did not have any shoes and was forced to walk barefoot.

State prosecutor, Elmari van der Merwe, advised the court that the accused had refused to co-operate and withheld information from the police.

Magistrate Coollen warned Qhantse that his reluctance to assist the police in the investigation would count against him when he applied for bail.

“According to the State, you refused to provide the police with your fingerprints, identity number and swab samples. You indicated to your Legal Aid lawyer that you would like to apply for bail. On the next occasion, the court will apply, under the Criminal Procedures Act, to bring an order for this information to be obtained by force. It would be in your best interests to offer your co-operation to the police.”

She indicated that the crimes were classified as a Schedule Six offence. “Exceptional circumstances will have to be proven before bail can be considered.”

Qhantse will return to court along with his co-accused, Morape Rankali, on February 9 for a formal bail application.

Meanwhile, spokesperson for Gariep Mediclinic, Denise Coetzee, said that Els was in a stable condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

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