Reyneke ‘had back-up plan’

2010-11-23 00:00

PRETORIA — The 47-year-old woman accused of conspiring to kill Blue Bulls rugby player Deon Helberg had a back-up plan in mind if the two men she allegedly hired to kill Helberg failed to follow through on their deal, the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court heard yesterday.

Manda Reyneke was granted bail of R5 000 yesterday, and will check herself into a mental institution within 24 hours.

Magistrate Edmund Patterson granted bail on conditions that included her not contacting Helberg or his family, nor the two “hitmen”.

The state opposed bail, saying Reyneke, who is the mother of Helberg’s former model girlfriend, and wife to an anaesthetist, might orchestrate another shooting if released.

The court heard how she sent the two Nigerian men she allegedly hired to carry out Helberg’s murder more than 2 000 SMSes.

In one, she allegedly told the men that they were taking too long to complete the job, and if they were not going to follow through, she knew of another hitman in Centurion who would be willing, the investigating officer in the case Gert van Staden, told the court.

“I’m sorry to tell you that this job still needs to be done,” said another SMS read out in court by Van Staden.

Van Staden told the court that it would be best for Reyneke to go for mental observation.

However, he said she is not a threat to herself and is not on any kind of medication.

Reyneke will be voluntarily taken to a mental institution, which she will pay for herself.

Patterson agreed, saying she should check in within 24 hours.

It was also revealed by Van Staden that Reyneke started plotting the murder three months ago.

There was an alleged love-triangle between 21-year-old Helberg, Reyneke and her daughter, Jalien Reyneke.

Reyneke allegedly contracted for Helberg’s killing after he dumped her.

The court heard how she threatened the two Nigerian men she allegedly hired to carry out the murder.

She occasionally cast her eyes down when some of the threatening SMSes and riddles she sent to one of the two “hitmen” were read out in court.

One, sent to one of the men at 5.10 pm on November 11, reads: “Be scared, be very afraid you have done me in and wrong with lies. You have never shot anybody the other night. That was revealed by the candle of truth.”

Another reads: “The shaman [a messenger between the human world and the spirit world] says I must wash my car with the blood; of a chicken … CHARLATAN — you charged very much silver for no service.”

Reyneke even sent the men SMSes that appear to be rhymes and proverbs in Afrikaans and Dutch: “Maak toe die hek, die os is aan die brand, keer daar voor die ertjieland! Tiedel-diedel-die, tiedel-diedel-da, keer daar voor die ertjieland!”

“Den sprinkaan en den droogte is zwaar op onze land en wat van julle zal worde is bowe mijn verstant.”

The men can’t speak or understand Afrikaans or Dutch.

Reyneke was arrested in an undercover police operation on Thursday.

She was caught by the Hawks at a Valuemart shopping centre in Pretoria after she allegedly handed over money to two Nigerian men, who she believed had killed Helberg.

But the two “hitmen” worked with the police to catch her, and even showed her a fake picture of Helberg lying “dead” in a pool of blood, as proof that she should pay them.

Reyeneke was swamped by photographers yesterday.

She strolled alongside her lawyer Jacques Beetge to an awaiting car in the parking lot, with what seemed to be a smirk on her face.

Beetge earlier indicated that Reyneke was not a flight risk and had another 17-year-old whom she needed to take care of back home.

He said Reyneke’s face has been in all newspapers, but she has support from her family.

The case was postponed to January 27, 2011.

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