Views from the News
‘How I found Modimolle monster’
12 January 2012
A late night drive by a Limpopo mother, desperate to get her two young sons to sleep, led to the arrest, “through God’s guidance”, of elusive murder suspect, Johan Kotze.
On the run for eight days, Kotze, 50, who allegedly masterminded his estranged wife’s rape and mutilation and the murder of her son, was finally caught on Wednesday after his luck ran out.
Kotze, a meat distributor, wept as he was taken from the police station, passing a jeering crowd of locals who had gathered, to a local clinic for treatment.
His arrest came after police from the Hawks Tactical Operations Management Services arrested one of the suspected rapists during a raid on a house in Makapanstad near Hammanskraal in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
With police swarming through Modimolle while a helicopter circled overhead, Kotze was arrested as he walked through a suburb on his way to a friend’s house.
He wanted help after apparently injuring himself following a high-speed chase on Tuesday night while escaping from the authorities.
It was in Modimolle on Tuesday last week that Kotze hired three men on the pretext of removing palm trees from his house.
But he allegedly held the trio at gunpoint, forcing them to rape his estranged wife, before he apparently mutilated her with pliers, screwdriver, nails and a grinder.
Kotze is also said to have forced the woman to listen as he allegedly made her 20-year-old son, a Pretoria University computer science student, beg for his life before executing him with a single gunshot to the back of the head.
Police roped in the help of Interpol as they tracked the suspect across the country,
Kotze was arrested after Surinda du Preez spotted his SUV on Tuesday night as she drove through the town trying to get her toddler sons to fall asleep. “At a stop street I saw a white Toyota Fortuna with Free State number plates. I became suspicious, but was scared and drove on.”
Afraid he would escape, Du Preez began searching for him.
Driving around the suburb she eventually spotted his vehicle parked in a darkened corner at Duggans Supermarket.
Stopping outside the entrance, she stared straight into Kotze’s eyes as he bought a coke, 10l of water, Powerade energy drinks and two tins of bully beef.
“I went cold. I couldn’t move or breathe. I just stared at him and then the panic hit me.
“I tried to reverse as quickly as possible. That is when he saw me and realised I had spotted him.”
Racing to a police friend’s home, Du Preez screamed for help.
Taking nearly 30 minutes to convince police she had seen Kotze, officers eventually began searching for him, blocking off streets, setting up cordons and radioing for back-up from national units.
Du Preez’s husband, Anton, and her brother-in-law, Werner du Preez, alerted community police members.
With intimate knowledge of disused 4×4 routes around the town, the two began searching backroads, eventually spotting a light from the boot of Kotze’s car, which he had crashed and abandoned.
“It was God’s guidance that led them to the car,” she said.
“They came to a fork in the road and didn’t know which way to go. Suddenly Anton got a feeling and started driving down a dirt track and that’s when he saw the light. If it hadn’t been for God he wouldn’t have found the car.
“That man would never have been caught. He would still be out there,” she said.
Police, who raced to the area, seized Kotze’s vehicle, recovering blankets, clothes, newspaper clippings of his alleged crimes, money and a gas bottle he had used for cooking.
Searching the area, police discovered a camouflaged hideout Kotze had allegedly been using.
Broken branches, empty water bottles and packets of food, discarded pieces of toilet paper and plastic were evidence of where Kotze had been hiding out.
Hours before Kotze’s arrest, police, heavily armed community police forum members and farmers were seen swarming through the Drie Hekke farming area using sniffer dogs and specialised trackers to try to locate the suspect.
Friends of the estranged wife said she was extremely emotional.
“This has been extremely tough. None of us are coping. Even if he has been arrested, which we are extremely glad about, it won’t change anything. A young boy has been murdered and his mother mutilated and raped.
“This monster must be made to pay. He must be made to suffer like she will for the rest of her life,” they said.
Police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the suspect, who is being held at Bela Bela police station for his safety, will appear in the Modimolle Magistrate’s Court along with the alleged rapist on Friday.
The two face charges of rape and murder but additional charges can be added as the investigation progresses, he said.
“He is incarcerated now and detectives are interrogating him before his court appearance.”
Hangwani said more arrests were imminent.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the remaining suspects can call Lieutenant-Colonel Simon Mohale on 082 565 8606.
Ex-mayor’s case dropped
12 January 2012
They declined to prosecute despite findings of the Public Protector last July, that controversial former ANC mayor of the Hessequa municipality, Christopher Taute, had “abused his office and had acted unlawfully”.
Taute reportedly requested cash donations to the ANC from local businesses during the May municipal polls, using his office resources, including his mayoral letterhead, which the Public Protector deemed an “abuse of power”.
Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Rodney de Kock, said however, there were no “grounds at all to prosecute Taute for corruption”.
“The State will not be able to disprove Mr Taute’s defence that the unfortunate wording of the letters and the use of official letterheads was simply a mistake,” De Kock said.
This comes in the face of yet another ANC mayor facing criminal charges.
Oudtshoorn mayor Gordon April, will appear in the local magistrates court on February 3 on charges of theft and intimidation.
April stands accused of stealing municipal property, including building sand and stone.
Several other criminal cases to play out in the courts, involving prominent ANC figures facing corruption charges are pending.
Northern Cape ANC bigwig John Block is out on bail of R100 000 on charges of corruption and will appear in court in early March.
Case of attack on journo postponed
12 January 2012
The case against Clifford Mohloana, the Limpopo man accused of attacking a journalist, has been postponed to February 14.
Mohloana, 30, appeared before magistrate Jaeanine Ungerer in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court yesterday charged with attacking Independent freelance reporter Chester Makana.
The incident happened during the ill-fated ANC Limpopo conference on December 18 2011.
Makana was allegedly attacked while taking pictures of Mohloana and his friends, who were allegedly making name tags for the conference.
Mohloana was captured on national television footage hitting Makana on the head, using a brick.
Makana’s memory card for his camera was also destroyed in the process.
Subsequent to that, Makana laid a charge at Polokwane police station, which resulted in Mohloana’s arrest.
Mohloana has been charged with assault and malicious damaged to property.
Magistrate Ungerer postponed the case for trial on February 14.
Mohloana’s free bail was extended.
Kotze, one employee bust
12 January 2012
FUGITIVE Johan Kotze, who has been sought in connection with the murder of his stepson and the gang-rape of his estranged wife, has been arrested.
Police announced that Kotze was arrested yesterday in Modimolle, formerly Nylstroom, in Limpopo.
Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said Kotze had been on the run since last week after the murder of his stepson and the gang-rape of his estranged wife.
“On the day of the alleged tragedy, Kotze allegedly lured his ex-wife into the house and tied her legs and hands around the bed and ordered his employees to rape her.
“His stepson.. went to the house and found three men taking turns raping his mother and Kotze pointing a gun to her head.
“Kotze allegedly shot the boy in the head. The stepson died instantly. Kotze and the three employees fled and had been on the run since,” said Mulaudzi.
Earlier yesterday, a 42-year-old man, believed to be one of the three employees who took part in the gang-rape of Kotze’s ex-wife, was arrested at about 12.30am while hiding at Makapanstad in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria.
Mulaudzi said during the arrest, police recovered Kotze’s Toyota Fortuner, which was abandoned in the bushes.
On Monday police in Limpopo distributed Kotze’s particulars to different border posts in the province to thwart any bid to flee the country.
Police thanked the public for helping to track down Kotze and one of his alleged accomplices.
Kotze and his accomplice will appear in the Modimolle Magistrate’s Court soon to face charges of murder and rape.
Mulaudzi said the search for the two remaining fugitives was continuing. He appealed to anyone with information on the men to contact the nearest police station or call 10111.
You are all Baboons Company employees humiliated by altered photograph
12 January 2012
IT all started as a group photo, but it turned very ugly. The events took place at Lenseria Airport on the West Rand.
Five employees of a service provider for the airport were instructed to pose for a picture. Then their faces were later replaced with those of baboons.
The picture was taken in June 2009 but the humiliation has not subsided and the group still wants justice to be served.
They have accused their supervisor, Harry McGarry at the Skycare Maintenance company of humiliating and causing them pain with the picture.
One of the men, Moshe Ramahlo, has since left the company. The others are Steven Moekeletsi, Lovemore Mchube, Michael Khumalo and Prince Makhubela.
The men allege they are called “baboons” and “k*****s”.
“I felf humiliated when he (McGarry) brought the picture to us.
“He was going around showing it to other white employees, saying “here are the baboons’. I work with baboons’.
“It hurt so much,” said Makhubela.
He said when he confronted McGarry about the photo McGarry told him he did not care how he felt.
Makhubela, a father of two from Diepsloot, has been working for the company for about 15 years.
“We suffer abuse every day. I’m hated here because I was the one making a lot of noise about the photo and I refuse to call my seniors bass,” he told sowetan yesterday.
“We tried to find lawyers to assist us with the matter but none of them could.”
Makhubela opened a crimen injuria case in Muldersdrift, Krugersdorp, in June last year.
But the claimed he was not informed when the case went to court.
The senior public prosecutor in Krugersdorp declined to prosecute due to insufficient evidence, National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said yesterday.
Mhaga said the NPA has now requested the Director of Public Prosecutions South Gauteng to review the case.
“He (the DPP) has now intervened by requesting the case docket with a view to reconsidering the matter,” Mhaga said.
“We are also trying to contact the complainants to explain the current intervention by the DPP office.
“Our advocates at the DPP office will interrogate that decision and see if it was correct,” he said.
McGarry denied taking the picture.
“We have nothing further to discuss. I’m not interested.
The matter has been dealt with by the police,” McGarry told Sowetan before hanging up.
Human Rights Commission spokesman Vincent Moaga described the matter as serious.
“It cannot be dismissed lightly. Racism is a serious matter, It is hurtful.
“We wrote to the respondent (McGarry) in November.
He was given seven days to respond but has not done so.
“We are looking at alternative measures. Investigations are ingoing.”
Ramahlo said he did not regret leaving the company.
“When he (McGarry) showed us the picture, he said ‘cameras do not lie. You are Skycare monkeys’. I felt humiliated and angry,” he said.
Police spokeswoman Captain Tebogo Kgomo said when the case was withdrawn in June, the complainants were advised to lay charges internally.
Makhubela said his boss Dave Bellingham refused to open a case.
“He said you can’t charge a white man,” he said.
Bellingham has denied the allegations.
“I know nothing about the picture. I didn’t know about it until last year when the police came to our workplace after the case was reported.
‘No one seems to know who superimposed the faces of the baboons on the faces of these guys in the picture.
“I have not even seen the picture. I do not know why you want to dig up the past,” he said yesterday.
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