Kotze's murder trial postponed

THE trial of alleged "Modimolle monster" Johan Kotze was postponed again yesterday so he can undergo further psychological tests.

Acting Judge Bert Bam postponed the matter to April 15 when the trial is expected to run its course until its conclusion. Bam said various factors had contributed to the postponement, including the involvement of Kotze's advocate Bernard Bantjes in the Boeremag treason trial, which resumed in the Pretoria High Court yesterday.

Bantjes told the court last year that Kotze had questioned a report by three psychiatrists at the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital who found him fit to stand trial. He said the issue of Kotze's accountability would be placed in dispute on both a pathological and non-pathological basis, although his client understood the court proceedings.

Kotze, Andries Sithole, Pieta Mohlane and Frans Mphaka are accused of murdering Kotze's 19-year-old stepson Conrad Bonnette at Kotze's house in Modimolle on January 3 last year. They are also accused of kidnapping, assaulting, repeatedly raping and attempting to murder Kotze's former wife Ina Bonnette earlier that day.

A plea of not guilty was noted on behalf of Kotze after he refused to enter a plea, and claimed his accountability and ability to follow and contribute to court proceedings was in question. His three co-accused all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

They claimed Kotze forced them to take part in the attack on Bonnette and that they had only pretended to rape her because they could not get erections.

Bonnette testified that Kotze tortured her with various objects and cut or sawed off both her nipples before instructing the other three to rape her.

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