Accused ‘was suicidal’

2012-09-07 00:00

CAUGHT on video trying to buy pills to kill his wife, Dave Williams said he was just “role-playing” to convince the officer posing as a hitman to get him medication to commit suicide.

The police video showing him planning his wife’s murder with police agent Mack Makhanya and his friend, Trevor Madladla, was played in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court on Wednesday.

Williams told the court yesterday that unbeknown to his wife and family, he had been suffering from depression for one-and-a-half years.

This followed his resignation from the Msunduzi Municipality in July 2010, and the failure of the tracing business he subsequently started.

As a husband, he “wanted to provide” but couldn’t pay any bills, and his wife “nagged” him daily about the fact that she had to pay for everything.

“How does that make a man like me feel?” Williams asked.

Williams’s wife, Vino, told the court that their marriage was “not loving, but it was fine”, and she knew of no reason for Williams to want to kill her or commit suicide.

She gave tearful testimony of her shock when police arrived at her crèche to tell her that her husband of 21 years had been arrested for plotting to murder her.

“I got a bit hysterical,” she said.

Vino said the major problems in their marriage revolved around raising their daughter and finances, as Williams was not responsible about paying accounts that were due.

When she confronted him, he sometimes drove off and didn’t return for a day or two. She would always forgive him.

About four years ago he had been “very angry” when she arranged for her cellphone to receive notification by SMS whenever he made a financial transaction. He accused her of not trusting him.

Vino said she is still married to Williams, but has instituted divorce proceedings.

Williams agreed under cross examination by state prosecutor Sarel van der Merwe yesterday that the police video that showed him plotting to kill his wife was “believable”.

He said it was supposed to be “convincing” because he had to persuade Madladla and Makhanya to get him the tablets he needed to commit suicide.

His repeated expressions about wanting to get rid of his wife and comments including that Vino was too lazy to even stretch out to get the TV remote — all of which was captured on the video — were supposed to lead them into thinking he wanted his wife dead, he said.

“I knew that they would never help me to commit suicide,” he said.

Williams said when he first approached Madladla for help to kill his wife, his friend had told him there were tablets available on the market and he would help him obtain them.

“He said I must not go on the Internet … everyone knows that the Internet leaves a trail,” he said.

Williams said the idea of shooting his wife in a “botched hijacking” — discussed in the video — had not been his.

“I preferred tablets, knowing full well that the whole idea was not to murder my wife,” he said.

He didn’t tell anyone about his suicidal feelings, including his wife, as it was a “private matter”.

He also felt Vino would have “blown it out of all proportion”.

She wasn’t a person you could tell when you were sick, as she tended to think a person had to be well all the time, he said.

Williams also didn’t want to go to a doctor, although he had medical aid cover, because what he wanted were pills to kill himself, he said.

Magistrate Mpume Linda is expected to pass judgment on September 25.

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