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Pretoria - A Benoni insurance broker, who read to his wife from the Bible after she was shot, could not have saved her life, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.
Clarence Botha, for Martin Badenhorst, 45, urged the court to accept Badenhorst's version that his wife was shot accidentally during a struggle for his firearm, and to acquit him of murder.
Badenhorst has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Yolandi in their Benoni home in November 2007. Badenhorst testified more than two years ago that his wife was the aggressor on the night of her death. He said his wife taunted him with her boyfriend, told him no one wanted him, and slapped him. When he slapped back she reached for his firearm. Two shots were fired as the two struggled for the gun.
He claimed she continued to attack him after the first shot went off and that he never realised she had been hit. He testified that the firearm was still in his hand when he read to her from the Bible and prayed for her while she was lying at his feet.
Botha said the defence conceded the bullet had caused Mrs Badenhorst's death, but added it was clear from the evidence that there had been a struggle.
He said it was clear that the initial investigation in the case had not been up to scratch, resulting in serious shortcomings in the State's case.
Botha argued that the court should reject the evidence of the State pathologist that Mrs Badenhorst could have survived if her husband had taken her to a doctor, as subsequent medical evidence showed she would have died soon after sustaining the wound.
“If there's evidence on record that the accused wilfully and intentionally killed his wife, I would like to see that because it's not there,” Botha added.
Prosecutor Andre Wilsenach argued that the only possible cause of Mrs Badenhorst's death was the bullet wound.
“Shots are fired. She's fairly healthy and she goes to gym. She sustains two gunshot wounds, one to the arm, one to the chest, causing damage to the internal organs and within five to 20 minutes she dies,” he said.
Judge Lettie Malopa-Sethosa postponed the trial to November 22 for judgment.