Johannesburg - A handcuffed George Barkhuizen walked into the dock slowly and sneering, hoping that his team of lawyers could turn his first appearance into a formal bail application.
This was as he appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court for the murder of his wife Odette on Thursday.
He tried, through his lawyer Llewellyn Morland, to get out of jail, but his wishes were thwarted when magistrate Lucas van der Schyff postponed the matter to Wednesday.
Throughout his appearance, Barkhuizen exuded calm and stroked his dark stubble while Morland explained to the court that he and his team had prepared everything needed to move up the bail application.
The State, however, argued that they still needed to collect statements from family members and therefore couldn’t proceed.
Earlier outside the court, Odette’s mother, father, brother and son had hoped they would be able to be inside the courtroom when Barkhuizen made his appearance. But the delay in getting the docket to the court meant they left before he appeared later in the day.
Standing next to his grandmother, 17-year-old * Charles spoke of the abuse and trauma that his father had allegedly put him, his brother and his mother through.
His 23-year-old brother is disabled and they still don’t know where Barkhuizen is keeping him.
“He has never been a really good father. Most of the abuse used to go to my brother. He used to punch him till his nose bleeds or slap him out of his wheelchair for nothing. Sometimes just for looking at him wrong,” said Charles.
He added that Barkhuizen had threatened and abused Odette for as long as he could remember.
“He has thrown screwdrivers at her, and hit her on the head while she was pregnant and even while he was driving. My mom said she was scared to leave him because she was afraid he would kill someone or her.”
Odette had asked for a divorce a month before she died.
Charles said since his mother died on June 11, Barkhuizen had been calling him “Judas”, intimidating him and even said: “Do you know that in Ireland if young boys betray their fathers, they get a knife to the chest?”
Charles has since opened an intimidation case against his father.
* Not his real name