Man reads of wife’s plot to murder him

2012-02-18 18:02

Nell-Mari Cooke (30) is known in Worcester, Western Cape, as one of the town’s glitterati, the Freedom Front Plus candidate in the 2011 local election and a former youth leader of the Western Cape branch of the party.

But after her appearance in the Worcester Magistrate’s Court last Tuesday, she is probably better known as the woman who allegedly plotted with her gardener and a suspected gang member to murder her 33-year-old husband, Martin, with whom she is in divorce proceedings.

A shocked Martin learned about the plot last week when he found a hand-written letter from an unknown person in his wife’s letter box.

He and his wife are separated. They lived in Paglande, a leafy suburb in the centre of the town.

The letter writer had asked for money apparently promised by Nell-Mari for the murder of her husband.

Martin succeeded in tracing the writer of the letter, a suspected member of the JCY gang in Worcester.

When Martin confronted him, he admitted that he had been asked to murder the husband of the woman who had approached him. The horrified husband then reported the affair to the police, and his wife was arrested.

In court, Nell-Mari denied plotting with the two to murder her husband.

In her bail application on Tuesday, her lawyer, Sakkie Krouwkam, told the court the couple had to appear in court the day before her arrest, following an application for the children’s maintenance to be reduced from R3 000 to R500.

Her alleged co-accused have turned State witnesses and will now testify against her.

The investigating officer, Warrant Officer Deon Daames, said during the bail application on Tuesday that Nell-Mari’s cellphone records would show that she had been in regular contact with the men.

She was released on R5 000 bail.

The bail conditions required her to hand in her passport, make no attempt to contact her estranged husband or other state witnesses, and not to leave the Worcester magisterial district without informing Daames beforehand.

A clearly nervous Martin refused to comment.

Friends of the couple said the marriage starting floundering in 2010, when Nell-Mari apparently had a relationship with Adriaan Jansen of Mbombela, in Nelspruit. She will appear in court again on Thursday.

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