Arnold Terblanche, the Nelson Mandela Bay businessman accused of conspiring to murder his estranged wife, Vicki Terblanche, will remain behind bars after his application for bail was denied by the Gqeberha Magistrates Court today, Friday, January 28.
One of Terblanche’s main arguments why he should be granted bail was the fact that he is the primary caregiver of the 12-year-old son that he shared with Vicki and is concerned about the psychological wellbeing of the child.
However, it was found by the court that Terblanche, who was arrested in November last year, might attempt to flee to evade his trial. Magistrate Kriban Pillay also said during the judgement that since Terblanche knows the identities of the witnesses, he might try to influence or intimidate them if released on bail.
In his judgement, Pillay made reference to the claims made by investigating officer, Col. Rhynhardt “Kanna” Swanepoel, in his opposing affidavit. According to Swanepoel’s affidavit, Terblanche, who was in the process of getting a divorce, became progressively more agitated by the fact that Vicki would not agree to a divorce according to his terms. It is claimed in the affidavit that Terblanche offered a family member of Vicki R50 000 in cash in order for her to convince Vicki to agree to the divorce.
He also referred to another claim made in Swanepoel’s affidavit, where Terblanche allegedly threatened his own family member to swear under oath that Vicki introduced him to drugs. He allegedly bought this family member a car and said that this person’s father would lose his job if the said person did not comply with his wishes.
“The court finds there is a likelihood that he will attempt to influence or intimidate the witnesses,” Pillay said. He added that the state has a prima facie case. It is evident from Swanepoel’s affidavit that the state has a strong case. Based on this, the applicant faces very serious charges of which the minimum sentence if prosecuted, is life imprisonment,” Pillay continued.
“The court finds that there is a likelihood that the accused might attempt to flee if released on bail. “The Swanepoel affidavit gives extensive detail of the state’s case against the applicant. It is submitted that each of the allegations referred to in the affidavit is supported by affidavits, exhibits voice recordings, cellular phone downloads, cellular phone billings and other digital devices. Accused two (Cullis) made a confession and [a section 204] witness implicates the applicant in the matter. The investigations are ongoing,” Pillay added.
The matter was postponed to March 28, 2022 for further investigation.
During the judgement, Terblanche (55) appeared with his co-accused, Vicki’s boyfriend, Reinhardt Leach (32) and Dylan Cullis (24).They face charges ranging from murder and conspiracy to commit murder, among others, after Vicki’s body was found in a shallow grave in Greenbushes in October last year.She was allegedly suffocated with a pillow and/or strangled and drugged with schedule 6 medication, Percocet. She had allegedly also been robbed.