Rob Packham led away in handcuffs as bail inquiry is delayed

25 September 2018 - 14:33 By Philani Nombembe
A handcuffed Rob Packham leaves the high court in Cape Town after a brief appearance on September 25 2018
A handcuffed Rob Packham leaves the high court in Cape Town after a brief appearance on September 25 2018
Image: Philani Nombembe

An inquiry into allegations that a Cape Town businessman charged with murdering his wife breached his bail conditions has been postponed until Friday.

A handcuffed Rob Packham‚ 57‚ was escorted by five police officers during his appearance in the high court in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The former manager of cool-drink company Twizza is accused of killing his wife‚ Gill‚ putting her body in the boot of her car and setting it alight at Diep River railway station‚ in Cape Town’s southern suburbs.

A stony-faced Packham tripped a journalist in the corridor as he was led into court. At one point‚ he turned around and gave journalists and photographers jostling for his picture a stern look.

Prosecutor Susan Galloway told the court the state was not ready to hear the inquiry and asked that it be postponed until Friday. Packham’s lawyer‚ Joshua Greeff‚ did not oppose the postponement and confirmed that the defence had provided the necessary documents to the state only on Tuesday.

Packham remains in custody.

The father of two was arrested at his Constantia home on Thursday evening.

“[Packham] was arrested last night by Diep River police on a warrant of arrest for breaching his bail conditions and intimidation of witnesses‚ relating to a murder which was committed on 22 February 2018‚” Western Cape police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said on Friday.

Packham was out on R50‚000 bail pending a pre-trial hearing at the high court on October 26. Conditions imposed by the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court included a ban on contacting state witnesses.

According to the state‚ Packham was bust by licence-plate recognition cameras that showed him driving Gill’s BMW‚ and cellphone towers showed he drove around Constantia on the day of her disappearance.

He was reportedly seen driving away from the burning car during the late afternoon. Gill’s charred body was found in the boot after firefighters extinguished the flames. A post-mortem examination showed that blunt force trauma to the head killed her. The alarm was raised when she did not arrive for work at the Springfield Convent‚ a high school in Wynberg‚ where she was a secretary.