Reghard Groenewald leaves the Cape Town High Court after he was released on bail. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - Reghard Groenewald said he didn’t intend to hurt Hilary van Rooyen when he swung two or more blows to her head with a pot plant.

Groenewald is on trial for the murder of the accountancy tutor at her Eversdal home on May 9, 2017. Van Rooyen’s body was found lying behind the front door at her home, in a pool of blood.

Taking the stand at the Western Cape High Court, Groenewald maintained his composure, stood calmly and spoke clearly, keeping his eyes fixed on the judge.

“I didn’t want to hurt her; I just wanted to get her off me,” he said, as he detailed events that led to Van Rooyen’s death.

He told the court it was his second visit to Van Rooyen’s home at her request and that he had been invited there the day before as well.

He said as he was leaving the house, walking from the kitchen to the front door, Van Rooyen asked him to stay a little bit longer.

Groenewald said he politely declined.

“We shared a goodbye hug, it felt normal until there was more feeling to it.

“She asked if I’m sure I don’t want to stay longer and I said no. She went a bit more tighter (with the hug) and proceeded to squeeze my buttocks. I asked her what is she doing? I felt uncomfortable,” he said.

Groenewald said he felt pressured and pulled away, and that’s when Van Rooyen reportedly threatened him.

“She made remarks about my girlfriend, saying she is older and much more attractive ‘than that little girl’ and there were more remarks said. She grabbed my hands and said ‘come on’. I then pushed her away using my hand, pushing her chest,” he said.

Groenewald said Van Rooyen lost her balance and fell to her knees. He said she shouted and went “ballistic”, threatening to tell his girlfriend and everyone that he tried to rape her.

“I wanted to get her off me and get out of the house. I grabbed the most closest thing to me and hit her off me, which I found out later through newspaper reports was a vase. I held the object with both hands and hit her above her shoulders in the head area. I think I hit her twice or three times; it all happened so fast,” he said.

Van Rooyen then dropped to the floor.

The trial continues today.


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Cape Argus