Kimberley - A Warrenton woman, Rosaline Coetzee, who was stabbed to death by her husband, died with a litre of blood in one lung as a result of internal bleeding.
Andrew Coetzee has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge, stating in his plea explanation that he acted in self-defence after his wife verbally assaulted, attacked, pushed, strangled and stabbed him.
The alleged murder took place in Warrenvale, Warrenton on November 23, 2013.
Dr Lemaine Fouche, who performed the autopsy, was on Tuesday called in as a State witness and told the court that six of the nine stab wounds were inflicted on Rosaline’s right back side, adding that judging by this positioning, it seemed that she was attacked from the back.
This is in contrast to the accused’s version that Rosaline pushed him and climbed on top of him before stabbing and strangling him.
In his plea explanation, the accused said that he managed to take the knife from his wife while she sat on top of him during the attack and stabbed her because he was “fearing” for his life.
After Andrew’s lawyer, Rick Ishmail, told Fouche that his client was right-handed, she testified that the stab wounds would have been inflicted on the left side of the deceased back, if he was in the position he claimed to have been during the attack and stabbed her from the front.
She added that it was highly improbable that the accused was on top of Andrew when the wounds were inflicted, because he would have had to stab around her on the left side to cause the wound to her right-hand back side.
Andrew also said that both of them were bleeding profusely during the attack but witnesses earlier testified that Andrew showed no signs of injuries shortly after the attack. They testified that Andrew went into the couple’s bedroom with a knife after the incident, before emerging with a cut to his left wrist and right finger.
This was, according to the two witnesses, a suicide attempt.
After Fourie’s testimony, the prosecutor Joyleen Mabaso handed in a copy of a protection order Rosaline had apparently taken out against Andrew 10 days before the incident.
Mabaso also handed in a statement made by the accused shortly after the incident with regards to his injuries, which she said was “in contrast with the evidence contained in his plea explanation.”
The trial was then postponed to Thursday when the doctor who treated Andrew’s injuries is expected to take the witness stand and court was adjourned shortly before the defence lawyer, Rick Ishmail, suffered a heart attack while still in the Northern Cape High Court building.
According to a family member, Faried Joseph, Ishmail experienced severe chest pains shortly after the court was adjourned and then drove himself to the Kimberley MediClinic.
“Medical personnel at the hospital confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack and he was placed on blood thinning medication. Although he was very pale, he was still able to talk to family members present and seemed fine, but the hospital insisted that he be transferred to Universitas Hospital in Bloemfontein’s cardio unit,” Joseph said.
The 36-year-old Ishmail is a well-known criminal lawyer, with his own law practice in Kimberley.
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