18 Feb 2016 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 18 FEB (NAMPA) A Gobabis woman implicated in the gruesome murder of her husband by allegedly conniving with her lover in August 2013 in order to cash in on supposed inheritance, made a first appearance in the Windhoek High Court on Thursday.
Rachel Elizabeth Rittmann, 45, on Thursday appeared before Judge Christie Liebenberg in a pre-trial of case management review, alongside her alleged lover and accomplice, the 32-year-old Ryno Ricardo du Preez.
They face one count of murder each, amongst other charges in respect of the death of Rudolf Rittmann.
The case was postponed until 21 April this year for the defence lawyer to file a response to the State's pre-trial memorandum.
This was done as per agreement reached with Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef.
Rittmann is being held at the Klein Windhoek Police Station, while Du Preez is being held at the Windhoek Correctional Facility's holding cells.
The 35-year-old Rudolf Rittmanns burnt remains were found in his car a few kilometres outside the Hosea Kutako International Airport, along the Windhoek-Gobabis road a few days after the incident.
According to police records and the indictment, the Rittmann couple had marital problems which would often lead to temporary separation stints during 2012 and 2013.
It is suspected that the two accused in the matter plotted the mans murder and worked together to that effect.
It is alleged that on 23 August 2013, Rachel allegedly fed her husband unidentified tablets through a drink, which caused her husband to become drowsy and lose concentration.
She allegedly then called in Du Preez, who was waiting nearby, to kill Rudolf.
The police suspect Rudolf was stabbed several times all over his body with a sharp object, presumably a knife, as he lay in a state of confusion on his bed.
The two accused then allegedly loaded his body into his car and drove it up to the Kappsfarm area on the eastern outskirts of Windhoek, a few kilometres east of the police check point where the car was found burned.
They apparently set the vehicle on fire in an effort to cover their tracks.
In addition to the murder charge, the duo each face a count of defeating or obstructing the cause of justice and a count of violating a body by setting the body alight.
The duo also faces a count of malicious damage to property for setting the vehicle alight in an effort to cover their tracks.