WINDHOEK - Rhyno Richardo du Preez, 35, who admitted that he killed the husband of his former lover Rachel Elizabeth Rittmann, 47, on August 23, 2013 in Gobabis yesterday had a tell-all session in the Windhoek High Court.
He denied that he threatened Rachel and said that he was so in love with her that he would do anything for her.
According to Du Preez, the idea to kill her husband came from Rachel and he went along with it to please her, but called her the ‘mastermind’.
He told the court that now he has firsthand experience that love does not kill, but he was in a relationship with Rachel where she knew very well how he felt about her and she used that knowledge to make him do whatever she wanted.
“If it was not for Rachel, her husband could still be alive today,” Du Preez told Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg.
On a question from his lawyer whether he has anything to say to the family of the deceased, Du Preez first said: “There is a lot I want to say to them, but how can I look them in the eyes knowing that I was part of the hurt they were caused.”
He then turned to the fully packed gallery and said: “Gladys, Johanna please forgive me.”
According to Du Preez, after the incident, he started to drink heavily as he could not sleep knowing he had caused the death of another person.
He told the court that he first met Rachel when she sent him a Facebook friend request and they soon thereafter started a relationship. She would return to her husband whenever there was strife between her and Du Preez, he said.
He mentioned that they broke up twice but she would always be the first to suggest that they rekindle their relationship.
According to Du Preez, after a fraud he and Rachel committed at a cash loan company, they were employed at in Okahandja, she hatched the plan to have her husband change his will to include her as a part beneficiary.
He explained how she went back to her husband after he borrowed money to pay her bail and then persuaded him (Du Preez) to take part in the plan to kill her husband for his money.
Du Preez further said that during August 2013, Rachel came to Windhoek with the amended will of the deceased whereupon they met up and spend the day together.
After the amended will was printed by the insurance company, she took it back to Gobabis to have it signed by the deceased and she returned the very next day to submit it to the insurance company.
He further said that Rachel then asked him to verify with the insurance company whether the amendments were effected and when they got confirmation, they put in motion the plan to murder her husband.
Rachel then returned to Gobabis, he said, where she supplied her husband with sleeping tablets and called him to come and commit the dastardly deed.
According to Du Preez, she was a willing participant in the murder despite her protestations that he forced her and she complied because she was afraid of him.
The State is alleging that Du Preez and Rachel conspired to kill her husband, 35-year-old Rudolph Henry Rittmann.
It is alleged that they stabbed the late Rittmann to death at his home in Gobabis, and then drove the body in his vehicle to a secluded spot in the veld, where they set the deceased’s vehicle alight with the body of their victim inside
The trial is continuing today.