Constantia businessman Rob Packham rearrested ahead of murder trial

2018-12-12 13:02
Rob Packham in court on Friday (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Rob Packham in court on Friday (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Western Cape police have confirmed that a 57-year-old man who is awaiting trial for murder has been rearrested.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said the man was arrested on Wednesday morning.

"Please be advised that a 57-year-old man was arrested this morning on a warrant of arrest and he is expected to appear in the [Western] Cape High Court on Tuesday."

The court issued the warrant.

News24 reliably understands that the arrested man is former Cape Town cool drink company manager Rob Packham, and that the warrant was issued because he allegedly violated bail conditions by contacting State witnesses.

This is the second time he has been rearrested. A warrant of arrest was first issued in September for breaching his bail conditions.

When he appeared in court, Judge Nathan Erasmus heard that Packham had made contact with his mistress and several colleagues at his old workplace Twizza.

Erasmus said at the time: "It is common cause that you have breached bail conditions. There is an absolute bar on communication, direct or indirect, with certain witnesses who are listed.

"If you do anything, and I caution you, you will lose your bail money and you will be kept in custody until the end of your trial."

Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said on Wednesday morning: "I can officially confirm that we will ask the court to withdraw his bail as he has breached his bail conditions and for him to be kept in prison".

Packham's lawyer Ben Mathewson has not yet responded to a request for comment.

The accused has been under house arrest, pending his trial for the murder of his wife Gill Packham in March.

Gill Packham disappeared on February 22 and her body was found in the boot of a burnt out BMW near Diep River train station.

According to the indictment, her husband allegedly used a blunt object to hit her on the head and, with the alleged intention of obstructing the course of justice, set alight the BMW while her body was inside it.

Bail conditions

He also allegedly gave the police false information to mislead them during the investigation.

The Zimbabwe-born businessman, who previously worked for women's cosmetics company Estée Lauder, had to hand in his Audi Q5 for the investigation.

He last worked as a manager for beverage company Twizza.

The accused was initially granted R50 000 bail, with conditions, after he was arrested earlier this year.

His bail was increased to R75 000 with more stringent conditions after he was re-arrested for contacting State witnesses, including a woman with whom he had been having an extramarital affair.

As part of his revised bail conditions, he is allowed to visit a shopping centre in Wynberg once a week for three hours, visit a medical practitioner in Wynberg for emergencies, visit his psychologist in Rondebosch once a week, travel to his lawyers to prepare for his case and attend church service every Sunday.

He also has to inform his investigating officer from his landline whenever he leaves home and returns, as well as report to the Diep River police station every day.

Packham had to hand over all his electronic devices to his lawyer. In addition, police can search his property at any time for similar devices.

Read more on:    rob packham  |  cape town  |  crime
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