Former Kempton Park dentist Casper Greeff, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for his part in the 2001 murder of his wife Estelle, wants parole.
Greeff turned to the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday to have Correctional Services’ refusal to put him on parole, reviewed and set aside. He said in court papers he had already served 13 years and five months of his sentence.
He also falls into the category of prisoners who may be considered for parole after serving 13 years and four months, he said.
The department recently turned down his application, saying he could apply again next year.
The body of the petite woman – a mother of two girls – was discovered in a veld near Cullinan. Greeff, a prominent dentist at the time, had hired two hit men to kill Estelle.
Elliot Masango was sentenced to life imprisonment after admitting he and co-accused Christopher Njeje had strangled Estelle and wrapped her in a blanket, before bundling her in the boot of her German car.
They wanted to dump her body in a veld, but after opening the boot, they found she was still alive. They then dragged her out of the boot by her hair and “sawed” through her throat with a blunt knife.
She pleaded with them to “hurry up” so that the pain would end.
Both Njeje and Greeff insisted they had nothing to do with the murder, but the late Judge Johan Els convicted the pair. It was a “callous and barbaric act” and the fear and pain Estelle must have endured were unthinkable, he said.
It was clear Greeff wanted his wife dead and was not interested in how it was achieved, he said.
Before Greeff was taken down to the holding cells to start serving his sentence, he vowed to reporters that he would be back to prove his innocence. This never happened as he was refused leave to appeal.
Asked at the time how he felt about the prospect of spending the rest of his life in jail, he said “please ask me an intelligent question”.
In his statement now served before court, Greeff said he had apologised for his crime and wanted to make amends with his two daughters, who were 10 and 12 at the time.
He said he wanted to play an active role in their lives, as they had suffered a lot when their mother was killed. “They had to live by the charity of others and were at one stage in an orphanage,” he said.
During the trial Masango said Greeff promised him R60 000 for the murder. He had taken out an insurance policy on her life shortly before the murder. Greeff testified he and his wife had problems, that she cheated on him and he had made a recording of their fights.
He even took pictures of her lover – a prominent businessman – who once fled naked from a cupboard where he was hiding from Greeff. However, Greeff said they had sorted out their problems and he did not want her dead.
Greeff, now 67, said in his bid for parole that he was eligible to be freed and was a model prisoner.
He made history by being the first prisoner to obtain a doctorate in prison. He was a dentist when he entered jail, but Greeff has obtained his doctorate in biblical studies. He has also obtained a number of other degrees and qualifications.
“I did everything in my power to rehabilitate and I’ve shown full remorse.”
His case was postponed indefinitely for the department to respond.