Murder-accused Rob Packham allegedly asked a work colleague to lie about his whereabouts on the day his wife disappeared. Picture: Zodidi Dano/Cape Argus
Cape Town - Murder accused Rob Packham was allegedly seen close to the scene in his white Audi SUV on the night that his wife Gill Packham’s car was set alight with her body in the boot.

The Western Cape High Court heard the testimonies of Keenan Thomas and Lance Govender, who were the first to arrive at the scene at Diep River railway station.

Thomas identified Rob Packham at a photo identity parade at the Hout Bay police station.

He pointed him out again in court as the man he saw that night. He said that on the night in question Packham wasn’t wearing spectacles.

Thomas and Govender were at Thomas’s home in Diep River that night, where they had been playing games on a laptop from around 8pm.

The two witnesses told the court that they had heard a dog barking at about 9.30pm.

Govender said: “It sounded like someone was running at the back of the house.”

He said that when they went to check he saw smoke coming from outside Thomas’s yard.

“We saw a car was on fire,” he told the court. He said he also saw a white SUV parked to their left with the headlights and interior lights on; the left passenger window was lowered.

“The car looked like an Audi,” said Govender.

Thomas said he shouted “hello” to the driver of the SUV.

He said he was standing under a lamppost, and the car drove towards him.

Thomas said the driver looked at him but drove off.

He remembered part of the registration plate: CA 724. Thomas said the driver was clean-shaven, wore a cap and looked “like someone who was angry”. He said he had a light complexion, somewhere between white and coloured.

Gill was reported missing on February 22 last year. Her charred body was found days later in the boot of her burnt BMW at the Diep River train station.

Defence advocate Craig Webster said his client denied that he was the person seen by Thomas that night.

“He said it wasn't him; he had arrived at his sister's place for supper where he remained till about 9pm,” said Webster.

However, Thomas kept to his version, saying he was not mistaken.

The trial will continue on Monday.


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Cape Argus