Husband ‘feared his wife’

2012-02-01 00:00

ALLEGATIONS that murder accused, Thenjiwe Griffiths (29) met her alcoholic husband, Allan Griffiths (60), whilst working as a prostitute, and that she abused him physically during their marriage, were heard in the high court yesterday.

In evidence in open court yesterday, Allan Griffiths’s long-time solicitor in Richards Bay, Connie Marais, said he had consulted with both Thenjiwe and Allan Griffiths to draw up the latter’s will, and held two discussions with Griffiths alone — less than two months after their April 2005 marriage — about his plan to divorce his wife and obtain a domestic violence interdict against her.

Marais said Thenjiwe stood to inherit 50% of her husband’s R800 000 estate — of which he was an executor — because the couple were married in community of property.

Marais alleged that Griffiths had been “upset” to learn from him that when he died his three children would not inherit his entire estate.

When Griffiths saw Marais again on June 6, 2005, alone, he had a “big bandage on his arm” and explained that Thenjiwe had “scratched him very badly” and that he had received medical treatment.

Marais said Griffiths had said he wanted to divorce his wife. He complained he had given her permission to spend R700 on his Edgars account, but she had spent just under R4 000.

Griffiths also said a number of people had moved into the couple’s home just after their marriage and he wanted to have them “removed” from the property.

“He also said he had bought her [Thenjiwe] a car, but that she had an accident with it. She then took his [Griffiths’] car and drove off with it.”

When he next saw Griffiths on June 17, 2005, to discuss the divorce, his arm was no longer bandaged, but appeared “black and badly damaged”.

Griffiths that day told him he had met Thenjiwe while she was working as a prostitute at a bar in Richards Bay and took her home “two or three times”, paying R1 300 for her to stay overnight.

“He said it was a lot of money to spend on somebody, but he also said he was under the influence [of alcohol],” Marais said.

He alleged Griffiths further stated that he was the one who had suggested to Thenjiwe that they should marry because “at least it’s someone to talk to and have company at night”.

The marriage took place at the Home Affairs office in Empangeni.

Marais said Griffiths also wanted him to look into obtaining a domestic violence interdict against Thenjiwe — claiming she had locked him in or out of his house on different occasions.

Thenjiwe had also taken his car on June 6, along with his wallet, identity document, credit card and other documents, and he had not heard from her since.

Marais said that was the last time he spoke to Griffiths. In November Griffiths’s sister had contacted him and said the family was looking for him and for his wife, and in January, 2006 he was informed of his death.

These and other allegations made by Marais, will be the subject of a legal challenge today by defence advocate, Shane Matthews.

Matthews told Judge Rishi Seegobin he will apply to have at least part of Marais’s evidence “struck from the record” based on the fact that it is “hearsay and inadmissible” and on other legal grounds.

The judge will give a ruling after considering a formal application by Matthews, as well as the response by state advocate, Dorian Paver.

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