Cape Town - The credibility of accused wife-killer Rob Packham came under the spotlight when he took the witness stand in his own defence at the Western Cape High Court on Monday.
Packham pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice.
Denying any involvement in murdering his wife, Gill Packham, and disposing of her body, he said he was “perplexed and confused” when he heard about his wife’s disappearance on February 22.
He told the court that he tried to call Gill twice after he heard about her disappearance later that morning, but her phone went to voicemail.
Questioned about an injury Gill had, Packham said his wife injured “the bottom of her right hand” while moving recycling items.
State prosecutor Susan Galloway referred to the post-mortem report showing an injury to Gill’s left wrist where “a plastic-like material” such as a hand- or arm-brace was present.
“There was no such thing. It must have been in the boot of her car,” said Packham.
Rehashing details of events that lead up to the time his wife was found in the boot of her burning green BMW, Packham said he and Gill had experienced marital problems, and admitted to an extra marital affair. Before his wife’s disappearance, the couple had an argument, said Packham.
“I was supposed to travel for work the next day (the day of Gill’s disappearance) but we had an argument. Gill had significant trust issues about me travelling alone for work and didn’t want me to go to the meeting.
“She got angry and we agreed to disagree, so the matter was not resolved that evening,” said Packham.
On February 22, Packham said he had gone about his normal morning routine after returning from a jog and then decided to drive to various car dealerships in Wynberg, Diep River and Milnerton looking for a new car with which to surprise his wife.
During his search, Packham said he had turned off his “work cellphone” as Gill was in the habit of tracking him and he “did not want her track me” while searching for her new car, as he wanted to keep it a surprise.
According to Packham, his former mistress had become a “confidante and friend” during the time he and Gill received counselling.
The case continues on Tuesday.