Man denies ordering wife's hit

2009-11-24 22:13

Pretoria - Geologist Cobus Prinsloo, accused of having his former wife killed by his gardener, denied on Tuesday that he had anything to do with murder.

He and co-accused Lucas Noto Moloi were applying for bail in the Pretoria North High Court.

Prinsloo testified that although his ex, Cordelia Prinsloo, had obtained a protection order against him after their divorce five years ago, she was residing in a home on his smallholding at Buffelsdrift, north of the city.

He admitted that the order prohibited him from swearing at or assaulting her, but said they both obtained orders against each other.

"We settled our differences for the sake of our children," he said.

Paid PI to trace killer - husband

Prinsloo said he had no motive to have Cordelia killed.

In fact, he paid private investigators to trace her murderer, the court heard.

He said in his bail affidavit that he kept to the High Court's earlier conditions for his release and did not leave his home in Montana Park until he had to appear in court.

As a consulting geologist, he was supposed to fly to the Democratic Republic of Congo, with his ticket and passport ready, but missed the trip due to his court appearance.

Prinsloo said he was close to his family and his two sons, aged 18 and 15, were in his custody.

The eldest, who played pipe organ, had been invited to play with a famous Russian violinist in America during December.

Prinsloo has already bought the tickets.

Gardener was being strange

Listing his properties and assets, he said at the age of 62 he had no desire to leave his loved ones and possessions to become a fugitive and evade his trial.

His wife's domestic worker contacted him on October 12 this year, the day of the murder, saying Moloi was acting strange and that she was scared.

He drove to the Buffelsdrift home and told Moloi to stay in his room.

Moloi claimed Prinsloo came to his room to ask where the body was and gave him a firearm and money, telling the gardener to flee.

The court heard that Moloi was a qualified security guard before he came to work for Prinsloo.

He told the court that Prinsloo had offered him R50 000 and a house if he killed Cordelia.

The gardener said he hit the 56-year-old woman on the back of her head with the sharp side of a spade, at least more than twice. He moved the body to a flower bed in a wheelbarrow.

Didn't contact boss about cash

During cross-examination, Moloi admitted that he stole the woman's laptop, a case with jewellery, money, a Kruger Rand, and a cellphone.

He said this theft was not part of the discussions he and Prinsloo had about the murder.

Hennie de Vos SC, for Prinsloo asked why he did not contact his employer about the alleged R50 000 he was owed.

Moloi replied that they did make contact, but Prinsloo told him to get another SIM card and he still had things to sort out.

However, the new SIM card did not work, so he sold the Kruger Rand for R3 000, as he did not have money to phone Prinsloo, Moloi claimed.

He was arrested the following day.

The bail application will continue on Wednesday.