It was suicide, murder accused claims

2011-12-05 22:26

Johannesburg - A Polokwane woman accused of murdering her fiancé told the Pretoria High Court on Monday that he had shot himself while in a delusional state.

Yvonne Beetge, 43, testified that her fiancé Bokkie Grundlingh, 53, shot himself in their bedroom in November 2008 while she was trying to calm him down.

She said Grundlingh had abused pain medication and tranquillisers and sometimes appeared to be "in another world" where he was back in Angola shooting people and slitting their throats.

Beetge said Grundlingh had been her soulmate and they were engaged to be married, but she realised he had a problem with pills and firearms.

He insisted on keeping a loaded, cocked revolver next to their bed and a shotgun under the bed and told her he had to be ready at all times.

Beetge testified that she and Grundlingh went shopping on the day of the incident because Grundlingh said he needed more pills.

He became angry when she asked him not to take so many pills and he was not himself by the time they arrived home that afternoon.

On their arrival, he put his revolver in the pocket of his shorts and at one stage disappeared for a while.

Beetge testified that she begged Grundlingh to put the revolver away and to stop drinking pills, but he told her to leave him alone and drank so many pills that he became confused.

I should be in heaven

They were watching a war movie in their bedroom when Grundlingh suddenly jumped up, fetched photos of his parents and him and his children and put them on the floor.

He also took an A4 page from the safe and read a letter to her in which he said he wanted to take his own life and asked his parent’s forgiveness, but said he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps.

"He also asked my forgiveness and said darling I’m sorry, but I cannot take the stress anymore," said Beetge.

"I became hysterical and realised something was terribly wrong. Bokkie was not himself," she said.

Beetge testified that Grundlingh was waving the firearm around and talking about Angola.

According to Beetge, he then put the gun to his head. She wanted to take it away from him.

"My hand was still on his. I closed my eyes and said 'no' and then I heard two shots and felt how the revolver fell out of my hand."

"When I opened my eyes, he was on his knees in front of me. I realised he had shot himself.

"I saw blood and pushed and pulled at his head to see if he was still alive, but he did not answer me," she said.

Beetge said she had tried to commit suicide by drinking 60 sleeping pills after the incident.

Her first words on waking up in the intensive care unit were: "Where am I? I should be in heaven."

The trial continues.

- SAPA
Read more on:    polokwane
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