Strong case against Kotze co-accused

2012-04-02 13:06
The State has a strong case against three men charged alongside Johan Kotze for the attack on his wife, the Modimolle Magistrates Court has heard.

“There is evidence, it is in the records,” prosecutor Renier van Rooyen told the court after Mxolisi Moolman, defending the accused, submitted that the State had no case against Andries Sithole, Peter Mohlako and Sello Frans Mphaka.

The three are charged with rape, murder, conspiracy to rape, kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

They allegedly gang-raped Kotze’s wife and mutilated her with objects including nails, a screwdriver and an angle-grinder on January 3.

They had been hired to work in the garden of Kotze’s rented home in Modimolle. He allegedly forced them to attack his wife.

Van Rooyen said the three had failed to prove that exceptional circumstances existed for them to be granted bail.

He said they argued that they were forced to commit a crime, but this was not enough for them to be granted bail. They were linked to the crime scene by cellphone records.

Moolman argued that the three would not skip bail and would not interfere with witnesses or provoke the anger of the community.

“The three applicants were instruments used by accused number one (Kotze). Their (the community’s) anger is directed to him not to the three,” he said.

Moolman said the court should grant the three bail to revive public confidence in the justice system.

Van Rooyen said two of the accused had cellphones, but had failed to call the police. He said it was also strange that the accused had waited at a certain stop for Kotze to pick them up after the incident.

“If you were afraid of him, will you wait for him to come?” he asked.

In their bail application on Friday, the accused told the court that they were traumatised. They had told their families about what had happened when they arrived home, but were afraid to go to the police because Kotze was still at large.

Magistrate Hannes Stoffberg is expected to make a ruling on bail later today