A WINDHOEK man took the stand in the High Court to testify on the events of the morning his nephew and his girlfriend were arrested at his house, eight days after they had killed a man at Gobabis.
Werner James told the high court on Wednesday the news that his nephew, Ryno du Preez was a suspect in the murder of Adolf Rittmann came as a shock to him because he had known him all his life and never once had he shown signs of violent behavior.
Du Preez stands accused alongside Rittmann’s widow, who plotted the murder together, in an apparent bid to gain inheritance money.
“We spent the weekend together and everything was normal until Sunday when the police came to my doorstep demanding to see the accused persons. Never once have I imagined that this day would come. When I led the police to the room in which my nephew was, he stood with his hands up as if he already knew the police was there to arrest him,” James testified.
Earlier this week, du Preez admitted that he and his co-accused, Rachel indeed killed Rudolf and burnt his remains in his car to conceal their actions.
A licensing officer at Natis in Gobabis, Priskila Kakure, testified in court that the deceased was her supervisor and that the two maintained a close friendship. According to her, Rudolf had previously told her of his marriage troubles. One such incident being that he had told her that the two accused threatened to kill him and he had to get protection from police officers.
She testified that when news of Rudolf’s death broke, she went over to the house, where the widow informed her that he had a heart attack and implied that it caused the deceased person to lose control of his vehicle and causing the ‘accident’.
“She told me his phone and wallet burned in the car, even though the cellphone I found her with resembled the one Rudolf had. The condition I found her in did not indicate that she was distressed,” the witness added.
Meanwhile, in an unexpected twist of events during Wednesday’s court proceedings, Rachel accused du Preez of threatening her when they were being escorted to the holding cells. She now wants the court to order that the two be escorted separately as she feels unsafe.