Man absolves NPA for any mishaps if 'killer wife' allowed back home

2017-04-20 15:24
Petina Coetzee leaves court with her lawyer William Booth. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Petina Coetzee leaves court with her lawyer William Booth. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - A Cape Town man who was allegedly the target of a planned hit by his wife does not believe he would be in any danger should she be allowed back home for the duration of her trial.

Austin Coetzee, 67, wrote to the National Prosecuting Authority in March to approve reconciliation with his wife Petina.

This was after he absolved the State of any responsibility or culpability should something happen to him.

In a meeting in December he was apparently told she could not return because "if there was any mishap by my wife on myself, the authorities would be held accountable and could be sued".

Austin told the Western Cape director of public prosecution Rodney de Kock in a letter that he did not, for one moment, believe his wife would carry out "anything of this nature".

He added that he had not been given any plausible reasons why they could not reconcile.

Bail conditions broken

De Kock was told that Austin wanted to withdraw as State witness with immediate effect.

The two have been married for 10 years.

"We have never had any major disputes in our marriage and we were always together. One can ask anyone and they will tell you how close we were, and on this basis, are shocked about what has happened and cannot believe it."

Petina was arrested in a police sting operation in October 2016 after she allegedly tried to arrange her husband's murder.

She was arrested in the parking lot of the Lansdowne railway station in Cape Town, following information received by Manenberg police officers.

She was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and released on R30 000 bail.

In December, she was rearrested for breaking her bail conditions, which included that she not contact Austin directly or indirectly.

The court heard she had spoken to him on December 2, just before her case was heard.

Planning for the future

The State said a material witness for the prosecution was intimidated and threatened to such an extent that he and his family had to be placed in witness protection.

Her bail was extended and amended with conditions to report to a police station every Friday, not communicate with any witnesses and remain at her current alternative address.

In his letter Austin said he could hardly walk or write without his wife.

He said he and his wife needed to sit down and plan for their future.

"We need to consider the children's schooling, the businesses, whether we move elsewhere."

On Wednesday the Wynberg Magistrate's Court heard an application by Petina to be allowed back home for the sake of her minor children.

The court will pass judgment on the application on May 4.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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