Accused paid cop for fake poison

2012-09-05 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG man, Dave Williams (51), paid a police agent R3 000 in exchange for fake “poison” with which he planned to kill his wife, Vino, last October, the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court heard yesterday.

Captain Tienie Botha of the Organised Crime Unit told the court he obtained authority to set up a police trap for Williams after being tipped off about his intentions by Williams’s friend, Thulani Trevor Madladla.

The trap was sprung on October 4, 2011, after Williams allegedly paid Durban Organised Crime Unit member Warrant Officer Mack Makhanya, who was posing as a hitman, R3 000 in exchange for six capsules that Williams believed were highly toxic.

Botha said he could not hand over real poison to Williams and so he’d filled six capsules with castor sugar and placed them into a plastic money bag.

He wrote the instruction, “Do not touch with bare hands” on the bag to indicate that it contained poison.

Williams was arrested minutes after the transaction was completed as he drove away from the meeting place in the Makro parking lot, and the bag with the capsules was found under the front seat of his BMW car.

At the start of the trial yesterday, Williams pleaded not guilty to the charge that he conspired to kill his wife.

According to questions put to witnesses by his lawyer, Nasen Naicker, Williams will allege that he lied about his reasons for wanting to buy poison and in fact intended to use the capsules to commit suicide.

Botha told the court that the police have video and audio recordings of the negotiations between Williams and the “hitman”.

The recordings are expected to be shown to the court later in the trial.

He also testified that when police told Williams’s wife about his alleged plot to kill her, she was “shocked” and wept.

He said investigations revealed that Williams had used R3 000 his wife gave him to pay off her credit card to buy the “poison” capsules. His wife owns a crèche.

Madladla testified that he befriended Williams 12 years ago after meeting him at Southgate Spar where he used to shop with his wife.

He alleged that at one stage, Williams mentioned to him that he wanted to kill his wife because she was “irritating and clingy”.

Madladla said he changed the subject and later avoided Williams. But in 2009, Williams obtained his new cellphone number and again started calling him.

He persisted with his talk about killing his wife.

“He was serious,” said Madladla.

He said he eventually reported the matter to police because he was afraid that if Williams did carry out the murder, he would be implicated.

The case is proceeding.

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