Nico vather trial: ‘Wife and mistress got protection orders, but kept on seeing me’

2008-04-24 00:00

Wife-murder accused Nico Vather (35) told the Pietermaritzburg High Court yesterday that his wife, Valentia, and alleged mistress, Yasmin Shaik, both obtained protection orders against him in court during September 2005 in order to “please their families”, but continued meeting him in secret.

He told Judge Piet Koen and two assessors that moments after he and Valentia left the civil court in Pietermaritzburg on September 14 that year with the protection order she had got prohibiting him from contacting her, they kissed outside the courtroom.

“Her attorney and my attorney were totally shocked. My mother was there too.”

Vather said he had until then opposed the granting of the order, but withdrew his opposition that day “out of love” for Valentia, after they “kissed” and she urged him not to defend it. “She wanted to make her family happy. She said I must think of her and my son.”

He said Shaik too telephoned him a day or so after the death of his mother on September 16, 2005 to tell him he was “in her thoughts and prayers”.

This despite an interim interdict obtained by her and other family members on September 20, 2005 prohibiting him from “threatening or harassing” them and from entering their home or business premises.

Vather said he believed Shaik got the order so her family would not know they were seeing each other and to “hide the nitty gritty” of their affair.

The court heard what Vather himself admitted were “bizarre” details of his alleged ongoing sexual love affair with Shaik throughout his marriage.

He said he was excited by the “bold, beautiful and extravagant” lifestyle that Shaik allegedly introduced him to by showering him with gifts and money. He said Shaik viewed him as her “toy boy”, using him for sex.

Under cross-examination by state advocate Dheelan Naidoo, he claimed that after the birth of his and Valentia’s baby boy, Micyle, on November 15, 2003, his wife and lover became “close friends” and said Shaik began bestowing gifts and money on the baby and Valentia instead of him.

As Vather described how the attitude of the two women did a complete “about turn” and they became “the best of friends, talking on the phone and sitting in the lounge chatting for hours”, Judge Koen remarked: “Amazing”.

Vather said he was not upset that he was no longer the beneficiary of Shaik’s money, because she was still supporting his son.

He agreed the alleged friendship between the women was “strange”, but said that since he was “still having it on with both ladies” he did not want to upset the relationship between them.

He admitted that previously the two women had not liked each other.

He said Shaik and he wrote “explicit” letters to each other while in prison and in one letter Shaik said she “dreamed” of having a child with him.

He married Valentia on December 18, 2002 — a day after Shaik was released from prison. She was “angry” and said he should not have “rushed into marriage”.

He said when Valentia discovered his affair with Shaik she left him.

He maintained that his sexual affair with Shaik continued up to the time he was imprisoned in February 2004 for an alleged parole violation arising from an assault charge laid by his wife.

Although the assault case was “settled” in September that year, he was only released in May 2005 as he was informed there were allegations that he had telephoned Valentia from prison and threatened to kill her.

Vather said an inquiry by the prison authorities revealed that “someone paid” to keep him in prison, but he did not discover who was responsible.

Vather testified that Shaik once asked him to “get rid” of her husband, Adam, but he revealed the plot to Adam Shaik.

He simultaneously revealed his affair with Yasmin, but he said Adam already knew about it.

He claimed that the morning Adam Shaik drowned in Albert Falls Dam, Yasmin called Valentia and admitted that she had “spiked” his drink with drugs. When she telephoned crying that afternoon and said Adam had drowned, he initially thought it was a “joke”.

Vather has pleaded not guilty to stabbing Valentia to death on November 2, 2005. He has denied that he confessed to a number of state witnesses.

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