Cape Town - “He said he loved his life, not his wife.”
This was said in the Western Cape High Court by the mistress of Rob Packham, accused of killing his wife Gill and burning her body in her car. She was detailing their relationship and their interaction before and after his wife’s body was found.
The mistress said she and Packham continued with the extra-marital relationship after his wife’s disappearance.
Gill disappeared on February 22, 2018. Her body was discovered in the boot of her burnt BMW later that night at Diep River railway station.
The mistress cannot be named due to a court order.
She gave details of how unhappy Packham was with Gill.
She told the court a day before Gill’s disappearance she met Packham for coffee at the Waterfront.
“He was coming to a decision regarding his marriage. He said he loved his life, but not his wife. He said he was unhappily married,” she said.
Two days after the disappearance, on February 24, 2018, Packham sent the mistress an e-mail.
“I received the e-mail at 2am. The e-mail said ‘this madness will soon be over and we will be together forever’.”
She also told the court of communication she had with Packham on the day of Gill’s disappearance. She said Packham sent her a good morning text at around 8.30am. At 10am he sent her a voice note on WhatsApp.
“He said he was frazzled because his wife had not arrived at work,” she said.
She said they only met a week later.
“I said my condolences and asked if the police had any leads. He said he was a person of interest because he was the last person to see her alive.”
Packham and the mistress started seeing each other in October 2015. At the time, Packham had told her he and Gill were separated and he was living with his eldest daughter in a flat in Claremont. She said that in December 2015, he decided to move back in with his wife at their home in Constantia.
In November 2017, the mistress said Packham was meeting attorneys to discuss divorce.
She testified that Packham had two cellphones, a work phone and a burner phone that his family knew nothing about.
He would call her in the mornings and they would communicate via WhatsApp throughout the day. She said he would visit her at her home or they would go to one of his flats and go away for weekends.
She told the court she only broke off the relationship in March 2018.
“I broke off the relationship because the arrest became very public and was not in the best interest for my children to continue the relationship,” she said.
Following the break up, she said Packham made several attempts to contact her.
“I sought legal counsel to address a letter to his house to request he stop contacting me, but he did not stop. He attempted to contact me 18 to 20 times under alias names. He left items at my house, letters under my garage door and left items at my work.”
Packham’s lawyer, advocate Craig Webster, in cross-examination asked the mistress if she was at any point told by police that she was a person of interest in relation to Gill’s murder case.
She said no.
Webster said his client did not remember sending the emails.
“The accused says he was entirely stressed and has no recollection of sending it to you,” said Webster.
The investigating officer in the case will testify today.