I didn’t confess — Vather

2008-04-23 00:00

WIFE-Murder accused Nico Vather (35) denied in the Pietermaritzburg High Court yesterday that he told two friends, Ricky Naidoo and Brian Singh, that he had killed his wife.

Vather gave evidence before Judge Piet Koen and two assessors in his defence to a charge that he stabbed his wife, Valentia, to death in their rented cottage in Brookby Crescent, Prestbury, on November 2, 2005.

He said he told a policeman who arrived at the murder scene: “My wife seems to be dead”, and alleges the officer, who knew him, later remarked that he, Vather, is an “ex-con and most probably killed her”.

Vather said that the night Valentia was murdered she had summoned his former lover, Yasmin Shaik, to their home to confront her about their affair.

Vather testified that he left his wife and son with Shaik, while he went drinking at the HQ Sports Bar with R1 000 from Shaik.

He then spent an hour with a prostitute at a May Street escort agency before paying a late night visit to his wife’s friends, Naidoo and Singh, where he became depressed and tried to jump from the balcony of their 12th floor flat.

Vather said early the next morning, he asked them to go home with him to “tell Val where I was the entire night”.

At his home, Naidoo and Singh waited in the car.

Vather said as he entered he noticed the door was “halfway open”.

“As I got in I said; ‘Honey, I’m home’, but I got no response. When I got to the bedroom I was shocked. I noticed blood coming out from Val’s neck. She was not moving. I said; ‘Honey’. She did not respond.”

Vather said his son, aged two, was on his bed next to the double bed. He picked him up and took him outside to Naidoo and Singh and asked them to call the police.

Earlier Vather said he met Valentia on August 28, 2002, after his release from prison on parole. They married on December 18 the same year.

He claimed that in May 2005 she applied for a protection order against him, but told him this was “just to show her family” that she was not in contact with Vather.

Vather testified that by then his affair with Shaik had soured over his suspicions concerning the circumstances of the death of her husband, Adam.

He said Valentia moved back in with him at Prestbury on October 21, 2005, but did not tell her family. “We were happy. We had no problems at all and we made love virtually every day,” he said.

Vather said he and Shaik met in prison at New Hanover in October 2001.

In jail they had a “platonic love affair”, but after their release it became sexual. Their affair continued through his marriage.

He said Shaik would visit him at his mother’s home after Valentia had gone to work. “I used to jump in the back of her car and she’d take me to places — restaurants, the Golden Horse Casino …”

Vather alleged Shaik blamed her husband for her imprisonment and wanted to get revenge by crippling him financially. She showered Vather with gifts and money, urging him to buy things for himself and Valentia so that she would “not suspect anything”.

She also assisted Valentia financially when she gave birth to their son, and Valentia even asked her to be his godmother, he said.


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