Cape Town – The fate of Constantia businessman Rob Packham, who pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Gill in February last year, will only be known on Monday.
Judge Elize Steyn was due to deliver her verdict in the Western Cape Town High Court on Thursday but was forced to delay her judgment.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said on Wednesday Judge Steyn was not able to deliver her verdict as planned because of her involvement in another criminal trial.
The State alleges he killed her with blows to the head at their home, then put her body in the boot of her BMW. Later on February 22, he is alleged to have returned to the Diep River railway station, where it was parked, and set it on fire.
Questioning Packham’s character and conduct, Judge Steyn said last month: “This man has shown to be a good actor, he led a double life and deceived his wife and daughter by continuing to see Mrs X (his mistress who cannot be named because of a court order) and seeing divorce lawyers while in marriage counselling.
“If he is able to deceive people on that aspect, what should I take on this?”
Judge Steyn was also puzzled by Packham’s reaction of not going close to the burnt car and being annoyed when receiving trauma counselling.
“If my husband was potentially burning in a car, I most certainly would have gone to see what was going on.”
However, defence lawyer advocate Craig Webster argued that by leaving the scene and not going closer, Packham was merely following police instructions.
Webster argued that the evidence of State witnesses who allegedly saw Packham in separate incidents should be rejected.
He called for an acquittal on both charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice.