PE Express

Murdered Vicki Terblanche’s ex boyfriend abandons bail application

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Vicki Terblanche.
Vicki Terblanche.
Facebook (Vicki Terblanche).

The boyfriend of murdered Vicki Terblanche, Reinhardt Leach (32) has provisionally abandoned his bail application in the Gqeberha Magistrates Court.

Leach, along with his two co-accused, Vicki's estranged husband, Arnold Terblanche (55) and 24-year-old Dylan Cullis, are appearing in this court today, November 30 after the bail application was postponed from yesterday until today.

Cullis already indicated on the first day that he would be abandoning bail.

Terblanche is continuing with his bail application. His legal representative, adv. Francois Van Zyl SC, under instruction of Danie Gouws, is currently addressing the court as to why his client should be granted bail. PE Express will keep readers updated throughout today’s proceedings.

11:45 UPDATE: Adv. Francois Van Zyl SC indicates that although the state says that it has a strong case, he is confident of an acquittal in this matter. Whilst his legal representative tries to convince the court that he should be granted bail, Terblanche, dressed in a light blue formal shirt, is earnestly taking notes in the dock with a pen and notebook. He once again smiled at the full gallery as he entered the dock with a bottle of water. Cullis, in a black jacket, remains indifferent. Leach, dressed in a causal blue DHL T-shirt, has his eyes averted most of the time.

Adv Van Zyl: As I understand from Mr Swanepoel (investigating officer)'s affidavit, he says that this whole conspiracy to murder the deceased was a plan put in motion on October 12 during a meeting at Chelsea's bar between the applicant and Leach. From what we've heard in this court, this was a meeting only attended by Leach and the applicant. This claim is nothing more than speculation. There is not a shred of fact but according to the state, this meeting was the start of a conspiracy".

Adv Van Zyl claims that since it was told in court how close the applicant was to his son, the meeting between Terblanche and Leach could have been to discuss the interests of his son.

"His real concern is his son, a son with ADHD. He wanted to be the primary caregiver of this child. He didn't want the deceased to be the caregiver because he felt that she wasn't capable of this," Adv Van Zyl said.

12:27 UPDATE: Adv Van Zyl (SC) refers to the affidavit made by Terblanche where he stated that on the morning of October 20, 21, when he was on holiday with his girlfriend, he received a message from Leach, saying that he had an argument with Vicki the night before. In this affidavit, Terblanche claimed that Leach told him he had found Vicki in bed with another man.

Van Zyl SC continues to say that during this conversation, Leach didn't say anything about Vicki's murder and only allegedly called Terblanche that afternoon to tell him that "the deceased is no longer a problem." According to Van Zyl SC, if Leach was a man reporting back to his "master" according to the state's case, it doesn't make sense that he said nothing about Vicki's body during that morning's conversation already.

Swanepoel's affidavit states that Leach used the other implicated man's phone the afternoon of October 20 to call Terblanche to say that Vicki was “no longer a problem”.

Adv. Van Zyl: "We know from Swanepoel's statement that the deceased was killed sometime during the evening of October 18, so one would then expect Leach to report back during the morning of the 20th's conversation already. "Why not then tell? Why wait until the afternoon? It doesn't make sense. Unless that message was also a ruse. During the alleged conversation in the afternoon, the applicant also makes no attempt to tell Leach what to do with the body. There's no discussion. It is highly unlikely that if the applicant was involved, there wouldn't have been such a discussion."

13:00 UPDATE:  After a short adjournment, Van Zyl SC continues to deal with the matter of Terblanche’s minor son that he shares with Vicki. “Dealing with a child with ADHD, those children need a lot of attention. He is very close to his child. If we look at the whole situation, the trouble he went to, to become the primary caregiver of the child. Dealing with a child with psychological problems is a totally different matter. I would submit that this is an important consideration for bail. His father is here, his father is concerned. His father is the ideal person to look after him.”

Adv Van Zyl: “If the applicant is released on bail, it will not undermine the processes of the justice system. This man has a child with ADHD. It will be in the best interest of his child if he is released on bail. Of course, these are serious charges, but the court can impose strict restrictions. Exceptional circumstances should not place the bar so high that it makes bail impossible. We say that there are question marks over the state’s ‘strong case,’” Van Zyl SC said.

13:15 UPDATE: Adv Van Zyl (SC) wants to place a recording before court, but this is objected to by state prosecutor, Adv. Marius Stander. “The applicant had two opportunities to place the recording before court and he didn’t. I want to make it very clear: if this starts going around, it will start going into a ring-around-the-rosy circle. This is an attempt to sneak something into the backdoor at this time. We had a meeting yesterday and this point was specifically raised and we decided not to do that,” Stander said.

  • The court has been adjourned until 14:00.

14:20 UPDATE: State prosecutor, adv. Marius Stander, is currently delivering an argument to oppose bail.

Adv. Stander puts it to the court that Terblanche’s claim that his business has suffered due to him being in jail is not a reason for him to be granted bail as financial strain is a logical result from incarceration of any employed person. “The applicant is in the same position as many other unemployed people.”

He added that Terblanche’s argument about him playing an important role in his son’s life is a given for any father. It is thus not an exceptional circumstance.

Adv Stander: “I know that this child receives medication. I would not want to go to the doctor and ask what special needs the child has. All this information is available. The applicant also knows this information. Why doesn’t the applicant place this information before court? Why doesn’t he get an expert to tell me the child’s needs and why the minor child can’t stay with [the girlfriend] or any other family member? Why does the applicant not want to take this court into his confidence? It is commonly known that [the girlfriend] and her mother stays with the applicant and that [the girlfriend] is also a mother,” Stander put to the court.

Adv. Stander: ‘The state’s case is weak,’ were the words used in this court. ‘The state’s case is open to doubt.’ That is not the case. The accused must go further and show that the state’s case is exceptionally weak,” he added.  It is insufficient for the applicant to just rely on claims that the state’s case is weak. He must be able to prove that he will be acquitted on all charges and that is not an easy feat. The applicant who chooses to follow that route, must make his own way. It is not good enough to say that the state’s case is open to doubt. You must show that the prosecution will fail on a balance of probability, This has not been done here.”

14:45 UPDATE: Adv Stander submits to the court that there is a likelihood that the applicant (Terblanche) will flee once out on bail. He also added Terblanche’s past record is relevant when looking at his past conduct with the tampering of the proper functioning of the judicial processes. This includes him becoming a senior consultant from a director in order to allegedly diminish his financial profile.

Stander also referred to Terblanche’s assets, which include a jet ski, rubber duck, motorboat and two Harley Davidson motorcycles, that he apparently sold to his daughter and she allegedly pays him R4000 a month for. Reference was also made to a BMW X5 worth R2.7 million that is currently being driven by his girlfriend. His daughter’s husband is now also the director of his company. The same company that now claims to not be able to function well without Terblanche. This was clearly to diminish his financial profile.

According to Stander, Terblanche cannot be trusted with the witnesses and made reference to Swanepoel’s statement that claimed that Terblanche threatened a family member to file an affidavit saying that Vicki supplied him with drugs if he didn’t want his father to lose his job. “Should we believe that he will not interfere with witnesses? Look at what he has done up until here. How safe must the state witnesses feel?”

Stander wants to know why it was necessary for Leach and Terblanche to meet at Chelsea’s Bar on the outskirts of the city on October 12, especially since it was stated that Terblanche dislikes Leach so much. He also wants to know why Leach said that a spare phone should be used. “Why would they need to communicate with spare phones? What was the necessity? Who would be checking up on them? I think all of us in this courtroom have been in law long enough to know why that would happen,” Stander continued.

14:55 UPDATE: Adv Stander: “Lies come very quickly and very easily for the applicant. He specifically tells the police official that he is unemployed but knows for a fact that he is the face of [his company], the go-to guy. It’s not a mistake, there’s no innocent explanation, in fact, there’s no explanation,” Stander said.

15:10 UPDATE:  Adv Stander submits to court that the plan was never a conspiracy to murder Vicky and for her body to be discovered. He said that the plan was for her to be labelled as a drug addict that left and was seen with an unknown man. The plan was that she had to remain missing and her body undiscovered in order to paint this picture of her. “To a certain extent I feel sorry for Cullis because he threw a spanner in the works. It was a brilliant plan, but he pointed out the grave,” said Adv Stander.

15:20 UPDATE: Adv. Stander continues to refer to the claim that Vicki was at one stage so drugged that she “was out of it.” Stander wants to know that if Vicki was so out of it, why Terblanche, who lives a few houses away in the same complex, did not go over there? “What does one do in such a case if you are concerned about your son? You keep him away at all costs or you go over there, but instead he goes and meets Leach that afternoon. After knowing that morning already that the deceased was ‘out of it.’ “The meeting with Leach is more important than the wellbeing of his son.”

15:40 UPDATE: Adv Stander puts it to the court that Terblanche went very low by allegedly threatening his own special needs child just to get to his mother. With this, Stander was referring to claims in Swanepoel’s opposing affidavit that Terblanche, upon returning home from the meeting with Leach on October 12, phoned his minor son, who was with Vicki at the time, and instructed him to return home otherwise he will send the police to take his mother away since she was a drug addict. “How low can you go? Threatening your own minor special needs son just to drag his mother’s name through the mud? If that is loving your son, then an expert needs to come and explain to us what love is,” said Adv Stander.

According to Stander, if someone tells you that he needs a fast car to go to Cape Town, as Leach allegedly did to Terblanche, any right-minded person’s first question would be what you’ll be doing in Cape Town, but Terblanche didn’t ask anything. “The state’s case is that Leach spied on the deceased for the applicant who was watching her every move. My submission that the scene [at Vicki’s residence] was staged, has been proved beyond all reasonable doubt. Why would Leach just leave drugs lying around?”

Adv. Stander: “If it was all about the child, why not phone the police and say: ‘My wife is a druggie and has been missing for two days?’ Why talk about dogs barking? The reason was to create the impression that the deceased was a druggie who left. Who does nothing? The man with all the information. He (Terblanche) plays his chess game and moves his pawns around: he gets [his girlfriend] to phone the police, gets her mother and then sister to phone the police.

“He got all the information from Leach, but doesn’t phone the police. Why? Because he’s the one manipulating the scene. That’s what it’s all about. All of a sudden, who goes into the house? The domestic of Terblanche, she just walks in. Last time I checked, that’s housebreaking. Next, she photographs everything meticulously but that’s not good enough because the police must find it,” Stander continued.

16:20 UPDATE: When Adv. Stander told the court that it is undisputed evidence before the court that on October 18, the day of the murder, Vicki was not under the influence of any drugs, Terblanche, whose mask has moved to his chin, burst out in silent laughter.

16:30 UPDATE: Adv Stander has concluded his argument.

  • The bail application hearing has been postponed until Monday, December 6.

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