Danish man in court over female genitals kept in freezer

Frederiksen sits in the accused dock ahead of his bail application on Nov 4, 2015.
Frederiksen sits in the accused dock ahead of his bail application on Nov 4, 2015. AFP

BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (AFP) - A Danish national accused of assault for mutilating several women and keeping their removed clitorises in his freezer appeared in a South African court on Wednesday to fight for bail.

Peter Frederiksen, a 63-year-old gun shop owner, was arrested in the central city of Bloemfontein in September after his wife told police he assaulted her and mutilated her genitals.

She has since been killed.

When police searched Frederiksen's modest brick townhouse, they discovered more than ten frozen pieces from at least seven female genitals, as well as pornographic photos of children, investigators have said.

His diaries from 2004 recounting genital mutilation on women were also found, along with anaesthetic drugs, surgical equipment, and two pieces of dried female genitals hung on a hook.

Frederiksen's 28-year-old wife, Anna Matseliso Molise, was set to be the state's key witness before she was gunned down last month outside her house in Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, a two-hour drive from Bloemfontein.

Frederiksen, who has two children with Molise, sat alert in the dock at the Bloemfontein Magistrates' Court listening to proceedings with his arms across his chest and his ankles bound by a chain.

Judge Marlene Marais ruled that, in terms of granting bail, Frederiksen's case was classified in the same category as murder and rape.

He faces a litany of charges including three counts of assault, conspiracy to commit murder, possession, production and distribution of child pornography, and bigamy.

He also faces charges in connection with the illegal removal of human tissue.

Frederiksen, who has yet to enter a plea, declined to talk to the press.

His attorney Luthando Tshangana said: "We are confident that he still has the possibility of getting bail."

The court's public gallery was packed with members of the African National Congress Women's League, the ruling ANC party's women's wing.

"We are here to make sure justice is served," said Joyce Davids.

"It's not true that this is a traditional practice, none of us went through this process.

"If it was a cultural thing a black man would be doing it, not a man from Denmark... I hope he rots in jail."

No one has been arrested for the murder of Frederiksen's wife.