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Benoni man guilty of wife’s murder

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iol news pic justice-scale and gavel may 23

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Pretoria - Benoni insurance broker Martin Badenhorst was found guilty of murdering his wife by the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Four years after his trial started, Judge Lettie Malopa delivered her verdict.

Badenhorst claimed his gun accidentally went off while he and his wife Yolandi argued in their bedroom in November 2007.

He testified almost three years ago that his wife had taunted him with her boyfriend, told him no one wanted him, and slapped him.

When he slapped her back she reached for his firearm and two shots were fired as they struggled for it. She continued attacking him, but died five minutes later, he claimed. She was shot in the arm and stomach.

He read a Bible verse and prayed for her. The court heard he did not phone an ambulance because he was traumatised and shocked.

Malopa, however, accepted the evidence of Badenhorst's former mistress Tania Cilliers. She said he confessed to grabbing his firearm and shooting his wife after an argument, and that he did not call an ambulance because she would have died anyway.

Malopa accepted the evidence of State pathologist, Prof Gert Saayman, who supported evidence that the gunshot wound to the stomach caused Yolandi Badenhorst's death.

Malopa said that even though Saayman had testified it would have taken the woman 10 to 15 minutes to die, and that her chances of surviving were slim, she should have been taken to hospital.

“It was not for you Mr Badenhorst to decide I'm not calling an ambulance because you're in any event going to die.

“This is the action of a person who really wanted the deceased to die,” she added.

She said Badenhorst's refusal to even concede that his hands must have been full of blood while he held his wife in his arms was the behaviour of someone who fabricated evidence.

“He goes to his sister shortly after the incident but does not even mention the shooting. He phones her the next day and tells her things went wrong and he's sorry.

“He is the person who shot the deceased and on top of that he even refused to summon medical assistance,” Malopa said.

As he heard the ruling Badenhorst shrugged. His girlfriend started sobbing and stormed out of court.

His mother-in-law was in tears, but hugged him and told him she had forgiven him because that was what God expected of her.

Badenhorst's trial was postponed to August 28 for pre-sentencing reports. His bail was extended.

Sapa


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