Family stability given as reason for ‘murder hit’ mom to return home

2017-04-19 23:01
Petina Coetzee leaves court with her lawyer William Booth. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Petina Coetzee leaves court with her lawyer William Booth. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – Petina Coetzee, who is accused of putting a hit out on her husband, on Wednesday asked the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court in Cape Town to allow her to return home for the sake of their minor children.

Coetzee, 44, felt that relaxing her bail conditions would be in the best interests of her two sons.

Her lawyer William Booth asked that the court scrap the requirements for her to stay at another address, not to make contact with her husband Austin, 67, and to report to the Elsies River police station.

The married couple again sat on opposite ends of the court's public gallery on Wednesday.

Petina continued to wear her wedding ring.

She was arrested in a police sting operation in the parking lot of the Lansdowne railway station in October 2016, following information received by Manenberg police officers.

Police opened a case against her. She was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and released on R30 000 bail.

In December, she was rearrested for breaking her bail conditions, which included that she not contact Austin directly or indirectly.

Booth said it was social worker Anne Cawood’s opinion that it was emotionally traumatic for her four-year-old to be separated from her.

Her 16-year-old was essentially looking after the younger child because Austin could not cope alone.

“The children are being punished before the mother has been found guilty. For five months now they have been separated.”

Austin’s request to prosecuting authorities that she return home strengthened their application, he said.

Magistrate Goolam Bawa asked if it was possible for the younger child to join his mother.

Booth said it was important that the child remain in an environment where he felt secure and contained.

“The youngster has grown up in that home. The play school is three minutes away.”

The State opposed the application on the basis that she might interfere or unduly influence her husband as a witness.

With the investigation complete, the matter would soon be transferred to the Western Cape High Court.

Bawa would pass judgment on the application on May 4.

Read more on:    petina coetzee  |  cape town  |  crime

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