Grim details in Vather case

2008-04-17 00:00

A former cellmate of Nico Vather (35), who stands accused of murdering his wife, Valentia (38), at their Prestbury cottage on November 2, 2005, told the high court yesterday Vather confessed to him in May 2006 that he killed his wife and claimed to have covered a stab wound to her throat with his mouth — apparently in order to stem the flow of blood.

Mark David, who said he shared a cell with Vather on more than one occasion from around 1986, told Judge Piet Koen and two assessors that in 2004 Vather told him that when he got out of prison Vather had a "job" for him, which was to kill Vather’s wife. He offered to pay David R10 000.

Vather explained that the reason he wanted his wife killed was because her family, especially her father, were keeping them apart.

David said the following year, in 2005, while they were both at the Dream Girls escort agency Vather again asked him if he had thought about the "job offer" and if he was prepared to do it.

David said he told him then that he was not interested.

David said in May 2006 he was again in prison, and shared a cell with Vather for 18 days. It was then Vather confessed to having murdered his wife.

He alleged Vather said that when he stabbed his wife in the neck, he placed his mouth over the wound while reaching over the bed for a cloth to stop the blood. He then stabbed her in the chest "a few times".

David said Vather described having "squashed" the knife into a wound on her chest and said he left it there. Afterwards he covered her with a blanket.

Vather told him he left his two-year-old child sitting on the bed next to the dead woman and switched the television on for the child before leaving the house.

After going to the HQ Sports Bar and Dream Girls where he "hired" two girls for sex, Vather told him he returned home in order to trigger a light sensor in the yard so that the landlady would later say that someone had been in the yard at that time.

Vather then drove his motorcyle to the flat of two friends — Brian Singh and Ricky Naidoo — where he spent the night, returning to the scene with them the next morning.

The police were then called.

The case is proceeding.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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