PRETORIA - Despite suggestion's from Johan Kotze’s defence that he was not mentally sound, three State psychiatrists have found differently.
Kotze's defence maintain that he was not mentally sound at the time of the attack on his estranged wife Ina Bonette, however three psychiatrists have found he suffered from no psychiatric conditions and was fit to stand trial.
Kotze, dubbed the "Modimolle Monster" and his three co-accused were back in the dock today, at the North Gauteng High Court.
Johan Kotze is accused of murdering his stepson, 19-year-old Conrad Bonette, as well as orchestrating the torture and gang rape and of his then-wife, Ina Bonette.
Kotze, meanwhile, has fired his advocate for what his attorney says are "sensitive" reasons. This has not led to further delays, as Kotze's attorney has told eNCA news that his new advocate is "ready" to carry on with his trial.
Kotze's previous lawyer had suggested he may have been suffering from temporary insanity. It's unclear whether his new advocate will continue with that argument.
The attorney says Kotze will testify in his own defence - and will also call a psychologist witness.
This morning the State called plastic surgeon Dr Johannes Kritzinger as one of its last witnesses against Kotze.
Kotze’s lawyers had argued that Bonette's body showed little signs of being mutilated. They'd suggested she’d exaggerated her injuries. Those claims forced the state to call a medical expert to the stand.
Kritzinger had seen Bonette the day after her attack and was called to testify about her injuries. He helped reconstruct Bonette's breasts after they were mutilated, allegedly by Kotze.
Kritzinger testified that Bonette had breast implants in 2009. Describing this newer type of implant, Dr Kritzinger said one wouldn't be able to break it by stabbing it with a pen. He said one would have to hit it really hard with something sharp. This seems to indicate that a much sharper instrument was used with more brute force than had previously been alleged.
After barely an hour on the the witness stand, Dr Kritzinger was excused to allow for a short adjournment, following which, Doctor Louis Pienaar, Kotze's medical doctor, was called to the stand.
Pienaar is one of the State's last witnesses.
Acute Stress Disorder
Kotze’s lawyers have always suggested that the so-called "Modimolle Monster" was suffering from “acute stress disorder” when he allegedly orchestrated the attack of his estranged wife.
Piet Greyling, Kotze’s new advocate, made the revelation during cross examination of Dr Pienaar, who’d examined Kotze following his arrest.
He described Kotze at that time, as being scratched, covered in dust, and shocked, after having been on the run for more than a week. But, he added that Kotze had appeared coherent, and knew where he was.
Greyling asked Pienaar if it were possible that Kotze had been suffering from the disorder at the time he examined him.
Dr Pienaar said he could not rule this out.
Pienaar also told the court that police had asked him to examine Kotze ”because no one else would do it.”
Kotze's defense team maintains he was driven temporarily insane by his obsessive love for Bonette, who had ended the couple's brief marriage.