Cape Town - Constantia businessman Rob Packham, testifying in his defence on Tuesday, told the Western Cape High Court that he was "not inclined" to share the PIN number of his work iPhone work phone with police as he was "not happy with all the information out there".
Senior state prosecutor Susan Galloway told the court that investigating officer, Sergeant Ivan Sonnenberg, earlier testified that Packham had told him he had forgotten his PIN. "Where would Sonnenberg have gotten that information that you had forgotten the PIN?"
"I don't know. I don't remember", Packham told the court Tuesday.
As cross-examination entered its second day, Packham was visibly irritated by Galloway's lines of questioning, and insisted his conduct on the day of his wife's disappearance had been misinterpreted.
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 a 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.
According to the State, Packham tried to cover up his crime by asking a colleague to be his alibi.
But Packham told the court that his call to his former colleague at cooldrink plant Twizza had been misconstrued.
Lodewyk Van Rensburg earlier testified that Packham had called him on February 22 and said he had had a fight with his wife and daughter the previous day and had asked him to tell anyone who called to say he had been in a meeting at the plant from 8:30am.
But on Tuesday Packham said Van Rensburg had misinterpreted his request and that he had, in fact, asked him to lie to his wife should she arrive at the plant or call to check up on him.
The couple had been having marital difficulties and were in counselling. The day before they had gone to a counselling session where Packham had disclosed to his wife that he still had feelings for his lover.
Galloway told the court that Packham messaged Lodewyk several days after his wife's murder to remind him of that conversation.
"I had seen on social media and it was being said that I had asked a colleague to provide an alibi..That is why I reminded him."
Packham said he was concerned about sensationalism in the media.
Galloway responded: "So you were more concerned about the media than how your conduct was being interpreted?"
"I couldn't help it that in between Gill had passed away," a seemingly exasperated Packham replied, describing it as a "simple request" that had been twisted in the media.
But Galloway said he had wanted Van Rensburg to "perpetuate the lie" and that was why he had sent the reminder. "That is very incriminating."
Galloway also turned the court's attention to Packham's other phone, a private phone used to contact his mistress.
He conceded sending his former lover a message at around 8.30am on the morning of his wife's disappearance, telling her he had overslept. But Galloway pointed out that according to his version, at that time he was driving to car dealerships to find a new car for his wife.
"I was in the habit of sending her a message at the start of the day," Packham told the court. But that morning he hadn't, so had "clumsily" sent her that one.
Galloway pointed out that he had not said he had gone to car dealerships in his statement, but had said he went to work soon after his wife left and had "tried to create the impression" that he had been at work.
Packham said he could not explain why his visit to car dealerships was missing in his statement, but conceded that he had read and signed it.
Two days after his wife's disappearance, he allegedly sent his former mistress, Witness X, (she cannot be identified by order of the court), a message saying the madness would soon be over and then they could be together.
Packham told the court he did not remember sending that message, but did not dispute sending it.
Packham's vehicle also came under the spotlight as Galloway questioned him about his car's tyres.
His car was photographed on February 23 and again in August. When police took possession of the car in August the tyres had allegedly been changed. According to a tyre track expert, the tyre tracks at the crime scene did not match the new tyres. However, the expert found that photographs comparing the tyre tracks at the railway station to those photographed on February 23 could have been the same.
But Packham said he didn't know if the tyres photographed in August were his and was adamant that he hadn't changed the tyres.
The trial continues.
African News Agency/ANA