Wife killer: I am innocent

2013-05-29 22:42

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Johannesburg - A Pretoria geologist, who hired his gardener to murder his ex-wife, was denied bail on Wednesday while awaiting the outcome of his appeal against his conviction.

Cobus Prinsloo, 66, made the bail application after North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria Judge Moses Mavundla jailed him for in effect 25 years for the contract killing of his ex-wife, air hostess Cordelia Prinsloo.

He was also convicted of stealing her firearm, and illegal possession of the firearm and ammunition.

His application for leave to appeal will be heard on Thursday.

Lucas Moloi was sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment in 2011, after he admitted to killing Cordelia Prinsloo with a spade in October 2009.

He told the court her husband had offered him R50 000 and a house to commit the murder.

Asked why it would be in the interest of justice to release him on bail, Prinsloo answered: "Because I am innocent".

‘Innocent’

He said he regarded South Africa as his heartland, had no plans to leave the country, and wanted to follow all possible channels to prove his innocence.

"Even with a sentence of 25 years hanging over my head, in my heart I'm still innocent and that will always keep me here.

"My innocence lies here in South Africa.

He said he needed to look after his two adult children "to stabilise and keep [them] on the right road".

"I must, and want to, get on with life out of fairness to myself and those around me," Prinsloo said.

Throughout his trial, Prinsloo insisted he had nothing to do with his ex-wife's murder.

He dismissed a suggestion that he could continue with his life in prison.

"To me, imprisonment is not a life. It's an existence," he said.

Prinsloo also wanted the court to let him keep his passport, because he wanted to continue working overseas as a geologist, even if he was sick.

He was previously diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, but is now in remission.

"Cancer does not ask when it can knock at your door again. As I am standing here I'm definitely not feeling healthy," he said.

Sentencing

Earlier, while handing down the sentence, Mavundla said it seemed Prinsloo had murdered his ex-wife after major conflict over property.

"He then decided to get the deceased killed. Like a coward, he asked Moloi to do the dirty work for him...

"She was 'chopped like a rabbit' at his instructions. He was motivated by greed and bitterness towards the deceased," Mavundla said.

He said Prinsloo was a wealthy businessman, and had enough money to provide for his children.

"He knew he carried the future of his children on his shoulders when he decided to arrange for the termination [her life].... The accused chose to walk the evil path and contracted the killing of their mother."

Mavundla said Prinsloo needed to "take his medicine with a smile" and could not use the interests of his children as an excuse to stay out of jail.

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