Widow recounts ordeal

2009-08-04 21:02
Pretoria - The widow of a Welsh businessman on Tuesday relived seeing her husband shot dead during a robbery at their Pretoria home last year.

Ursula Picton-Turbervill, 41, was testifying in the trial of Petro Markel, 27, and Christovao Fresco Ndima, 20.

The pair, both from Mozambique, pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering her husband Fred, 46, in Waterkloof Ridge in January last year. Ursula told the court Ndima first kicked her husband.

"At the same time, Markel came around the dining room table. Ndima stepped back and Markel shot my husband in his head. My husband slumped against me."

He later died in hospital.

Broke down

The two men also denied robbing the couple of cellphones, cameras, a laptop, jewellery, wallets and cash at gunpoint; and to the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Fred, a descendant of a South Wales family, moved to South Africa in 2003. He was a director of a successful furniture manufacturing company.

He died in a Pretoria hospital shortly after being shot, without any provocation, in front of his wife and children Samantha, 10, Bryony, 9, Natasha, 6, and Gregory, 30.

Ursula was calm as she recounted the night of the crime, but broke down when she told of the effect the murder had had on her children, whom she said have lived in fear since then.

The trial continues.

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