Millionaire’s sister-in-law tells court of innocence

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IOL news feb 6  Maria Povlsen DOE

CAPE ARGUS

Francis Kimeze and his sister, Maria Povlsen, pictured, are two of the three siblings on trial for the murder of Preben Povlsen. File photo: Sophia Stander

Cape Town - Murder accused Stella Ssengendo told the Western Cape High Court she realised something was wrong when her brother-in-law, Danish millionaire Preben Povlsen, did not arrive home at his usual time after playing golf.

Ssengendo, 43, was testifying for the second day under cross-examination.

Ssengendo, along with her sister Maria, 34, Povlsen’s widow, and former Ugandan child soldier Francis Kimeze, 39, are on trial for Povlsen’s murder on January 14, 2008. Povlsen was 71.

The sisters have denied any involvement in the murder. Kimeze testified last month that he had stabbed Povlsen to death.

“Mr Povlsen always came home from playing golf at around 3pm, never later than 4pm. I asked Maria (where he was) because he had to buy groceries so that I can make dinner,” Ssengendo said.

She had been living with the couple for about eight years at their Gordon’s Bay home and said that they seemed to be “a happy family”.

The court heard that the couple did not always share a bedroom and, while Povlsen slept downstairs, Maria slept upstairs in the master bedroom.

“There was no specific (sleeping arrangements). It depended on his pain.

“Mr Povlsen complained about pain in his hip since 2003. He had to go for a hip replacement in April 2008,” Ssengendo explained.

She said she looked after the home as the couple regularly travelled to Denmark. She lived in a flatlet on the premises with her son.

She testified that Kimeze had done odd jobs around the house while Povlsen was present. After a break-in she called him to fix a sliding door.

Ssengendo said Kimeze had often visited her unannounced but she did not think his behaviour was “weird” because he made similar visits when they were home in Uganda.

The sisters refer to Kimeze as their brother.

Prosecutor Mmatlhapi Tsheole asked Ssengendo whether Povlsen was aware that Kimeze visited her. “No he just found him there sometimes,” she said.

Povlsen’s partially burnt body was discovered off Otto du Plessis Road in Bloubergstrand six days after his murder.

jade.otto@inl.co.za

Cape Argus


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