CAPE TOWN - Murder-accused Rob Packham allegedly asked a work colleague to lie about his whereabouts on the day his wife disappeared on February 22, 2018, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.
The logistics manager of Twizza, a softdrinks plant where Packham worked as the general manager, told the court on Tuesday that Packham had called him at 12.33pm to ask him to say that if anyone called to ask where he had been, he should say they had been in a meeting at 8.30am that morning.
Lodewyk Van Rensburg agreed, but felt uneasy about the request and reported it to the human resources department.
Van Rensburg testified that Packham told him he was looking for his wife who had not arrived at Springfield Convent High School, where she worked as a secretary, that morning.
Packham had called Van Rensburg "Buddy" when he started the conversation, which he had never done before.
"He was out of breath when he spoke to me on the phone, like he was walking around," Van Rensburg said.
He said Packham told him he had had a fight with his wife, Gill, and daughter, Nicola, the previous day.
"He sounded stressed and said he was looking for Gill. It was not like a normal relaxed conversation."
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, 2018, 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.
Murder-accused Rob Packham allegedly asked a work colleague to lie about his whereabouts on the day his wife disappeared. Video: Zodidi Dano/Cape Argus
On the first day of the trial on Monday, Packham's youngest daughter Nicola testified about her parents' troubled marriage and her father's infidelities.
She told the court she had known about her father's affairs for several years before her mother found out in October 2017.
She said they had committed to working on their marriage, attended counselling once a week and planned to renew their vows. But the day before her disappearance, her father had said in a counselling session, that he had feelings for his mistress.
Previously, he had said he did not have feelings for her, but in that session he disclosed that he did, and "mom was very upset about it", she told the court.