Cape Town – Rob Packham’s daughter Nicola testified against her father yesterday at the murder case of her mother in the Western Cape High Court.
She told the court that her father had told a marriage therapist that he had feelings for his mistress.
“They had a disclosure discussion where they spoke about the mistress. Previously dad said there were no feelings (for his mistress) but in that (last) session he said there were feelings for her,” Nicola said.
Nicola told the court that her mother Gill was “upset” after she and Packham attended their last marriage therapy session – a day before Gill’s disappearance and murder.
Nicola said during October 2017 she had told her father to “come clean” with her mother about an affair that Nicola had known about for “several years”.
After telling Gill about the affair, Nicola said her mother was “extremely angry” and the couple then decided to see a marriage counsellor in Claremont, where they had weekly sessions.
Before court proceedings resumed after lunch, Packham turned to Nicola, seated in the Court 6 gallery, and exchanged a hand touch and smile.
Packham, who faces another charge of defeating or obstructing the administration of justice, pleaded not guilty as his trial got under way.
The State has alleged that Packham killed Gill by hitting her with a blunt object unknown to the State and/or inflicting violence, the forms of which are unknown to the State.
The State also accused Packham of having set alight Gill’s green BMW at the Diep River train station while she was in the boot, tampering with the crime scene and supplying false information to the police.
The State has requested life imprisonment. Gill’s Springfield Convent School colleague, Bernice Moore, also gave testimony about the day of her disappearance.
Moore said when Gill had not arrived at the school at 7.30am, she sent a message on a work Whatsapp group to find out if she was running late.
By 8am Moore said she had still not heard from Gill and this made her worry.
By 8.15am she reported to management that Gill had not yet arrived at work.
Moore said she called Packham on his cellphone at about 9am to ask about his wife’s whereabouts but got no answer.
She then called his work contact number where she was told Packham “wasn’t at work yet”.
Moore said she had called Packham about seven times before she eventually got hold of him at about 10.30am.
“He said he was at the school premises and wanted to see who he was speaking to on the other side of the line This made me feel uneasy, I don’t know why. Packham’s eyes were deep in his head and he looked frazzled.
‘‘We called for management to speak to him but he did not want to speak to anybody.
‘‘He said it was fine and left. That was that,” Moore said.
Before leaving court, still in custody, Packham turned to Nicola to hug her.
The case continues today.