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Judge shocked by Kotze's actions

Judge Bert Bam described Ina Bonnette's gang-rape as "gruesome, shocking and merciless".

Ina Bonnette's attackers, Johan Kotze and three of his co-accused were found guilty of raping and mutilating her in the North Gauteng High Court on Monday. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

PRETORIA - Judge Bert Bam on Wednesday described Ina Bonnette's gang-rape as gruesome, shocking and merciless.

He says it is the most humiliating crime that a woman can experience.

'Modimolle Monster' Johan Kotze was sentenced to life behind bars for orchestrating the gang-rape of his estranged wife, Bonnette.

He was also charged for murdering Bonnette's son, Conrad, in January 2012.

Kotze was handed a life sentence for the murder and another for the rape. He was also given 25 years for kidnapping and assault.

His three co-accused, Andries Sithole, Sello Phaka and Pieta Mohlake, will also spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

Bam said he couldn't find a reason to give Kotze anything less than life sentences.

"Rape is the most humiliating crime a woman could experience, if she survives. Ina Bonnette was helpless, the men showed no mercy."

The judge said he couldn't think of a more shocking or traumatic experience.

"What they did was gruesome. Kotze deserves a harsher sentence than his co-accused."

He said the state's victim impact report contributed substantially to his final decision.

As Bam ordered the four men to stand in the dock as he read out his verdict, Bonnette struggled to hold back tears.

She told media she was overwhelmed by the judge's decision, but said the pain would never go away.

Speaking in Afrikaans, Bonnette said, "Today is the beginning of something new in my life. He deserves everything that was said in this court today. The pain and embarrassment will never go away."

She wiped away her tears as she was comforted by her parents, surrounded by a large contingent of video cameras and microphones.

The gruelling 18-month trial made international headlines and placed Bonnette face-to-face with Kotze.

Bonnette wore a white satin sash, indicating that she is a rape survivor.