Cape Town - Constantia businessman, 58-year-old Rob Packham, on Wednesday in the Western Cape High Court peppered his responses to cross-examination with the words "fiction", "fantasy", "pure coincidence" and "speculation."
Remaining adamant that he was not involved in his wife's murder, he, at times, appeared irritated as senior State prosecutor Susan Galloway asked him probing questions for a third day running.
Packham is accused of murder and defeating the ends of justice for allegedly killing his wife Gill Packham in February last year. He has pleaded not guilty.
On the day she went missing, February 22, she did not arrive for work at the usual time of 7:30am. Her body was later found in the boot of her burnt-out BMW near the Diep River train station.
The State alleges that her husband used a blunt object to hit her on the head and, with the alleged intention of obstructing the course of justice, set her BMW on fire while her body was in it.
The car was set alight at the Diep River railway station and two witnesses identified Packham as the man driving a white Audi away from the scene.
Thomas Keenan earlier testified that his friend Lance Govender arrived at his house at around 8 pm that night. They heard a commotion about an hour later, but he was not sure of the exact time. Govender, however, recalled that it was at 9.30pm, and told the court he had looked at the wall clock.
Galloway said Packham had left his sister's house at around 9.17pm and it would not have been impossible for him to drive to the Diep River railway station in that time.
Packham said: "You are insinuating the vehicle was already burning, I would have had to get there in five minutes which is impossible."
Galloway said even if Thomas had made a mistake in identifying Packham as the driver of the Audi, "at the end of the day", he identified Packham as the person he saw on the scene, pointing him out in an ID parade.
Packham said he had been "disadvantaged" as Thomas had already seen photographs of him on social media.
Galloway said Thomas had gone further in his testimony - not only had he identified Packham, he had seen him drive his white Audi and had memorised three numbers from Packham's CA numberplate.
"It's fantasy. It's an absolute coincidence...I'm sure my white car is not the only one in Cape Town."
Galloway said tyre tracks found on the scene were a possible match with Packham's Audi tyres, as photographed by police on February 23. However, when police re-examined the car in August, the tyres had been changed.
Packham denied changing his tyres.
Galloway also focused the court's attention on blood found in the bathroom and garage of the Packham home. Blood found in the bathroom belonging to Packham was not visible to the naked eye, whereas blood in the garage, found to be Gill's, was. Droplets of Gill's blood were found on a compost bag, on a piece of paper on a bench, the door frame and on the inside car door handle of Packham's Audi.
Packham insisted she could have cut herself gardening or when loading recycling bags into his car the previous Sunday.
He could not explain blood drops on the door frame leading into the house, however. According to Packham, she could have used plasters kept in the garage for the cut and could have shaken her hand explaining the blood on the compost bag.
But Galloway said there was no reason for her to go into the house since the plasters were already in the garage.
"I don't know, what if she shook her hand, I have no idea."
Packham told the court his wife could have used tissues from his car to wipe up the blood and that could explain why her blood was found on his inside car door handle.
"I am speculating, as are you," he told Galloway.
Galloway told the court Packham had throughout the day changed his demeanour depending on whom he was talking to. When he had talked to his sister and daughter, he had cried. But when he spoke to a police officer at Wynberg police station he had appeared relaxed and was busy on his phone.
Packham said he had not been feeling that way internally and was "extremely anxious".
Galloway said he had sent unsolicited communications to several witnesses including Witness X, his former mistress, who cannot be identified. She had to get her lawyer to write a letter to Packham to stop him from contacting her, but despite this, he continued. "Your bail was revoked because of that."
Packham had also contacted a former colleague, Lodewyk Van Rensburg, and asked him to lie for him and say he had been at his place of work Twizza since 8.30 am that morning.
Several days later he sent Van Rensburg a message reminding him of the agreement.
"You realised you needed to account for your movements while your phone was off. You realised it was incriminating."
Packham retorted: "That is pure speculation."
Galloway said he realised the information about his call to Van Rensburg was "out there" and "enraged", he needed "to come up with a different story".
It was then, Galloway said, that he came up with visiting car dealerships to find a new car for his wife, to explain his phone being off after he left home that morning.
Packham again dismissed Galloway's assertions. "The prosecutor is speculating," he said.
Galloway questioned the probability of a hijacker attacking Gill in the garage, bundling her body into the boot of the car and later setting it alight with the doors locked.
"I guess it's one possibility," Packham told the court.
Galloway said Packham had, in fact, hit his wife twice with a blunt object on the night of February 21, finding himself in a "tight spot" because of his affair and his wife's distress because of his "continuous disclosures" about his infidelity.
"You didn't want help to look for her, because you knew all along where she was. And you knew where her car was. You were driving around in that car in the vicinity of your home. And probably after realising you had been noticed by Mr Gray (a witness who identified Packham driving the BMW in the afternoon) you went and left it at Diep River railway station and locked it."
"You were trying to find a place to get rid of evidence."
Galloway said he later set the car alight, trying to erase evidence, and thinking his wife would simply become another hijacking statistic.
"In effect, Mr Packham I am going to argue that you killed your wife, and you set the car alight."
Packham responded: "I categorically deny what the prosecutor has just said."
Judge Elize Steyn asked Packham if he would have heard an attack in the garage, as he left only half an hour after his wife.
"I don't know. Quite possibly. I don't know. I didn't hear anything."
She postponed the case to April 24 for final arguments.
African News Agency/ANA