Rittman wants court to send her for mental observation

20 Jun 2017 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 20 JUN (NAMPA) - Gobabis resident, Rachel Elizabeth Rittmann, who allegedly connived with her lover to murder her husband on 23 August 2013, has asked the High Court to send her for mental observation.
State-funded defence lawyer, Hipura Ujaha on Tuesday asked presiding High Court Judge, Christie Liebenberg to allow his client to be mentally observed by a psychiatrist of her own choice to determine her mental status prior, at the time and after the commission of the alleged murder offence.
According to the defence lawyer, Rittmann has a history of anxiety and depression, and for these reasons he fears that his client could not be fit to fully understand and follow court proceedings of the trial if she did not go through psychiatric examination.
A ruling on the application for mental observation will be made public on Thursday this week, said Liebenberg.
Rittmann, 46, is charged with her lover, Ryno Ricardo du Preez, in respect of the death of Rudolf Rittmann, whose burnt remains were found in his car near the Windhoek-Gobabis road.
The two accused face one count of murder each; a count of conspiracy to murder; a count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice; a count of violating a dead body by setting it alight; and a count of malicious damage to property.
Rachel allegedly fed her husband unidentified tablets through a drink and he became drowsy.
She then called in Du Preez, who was waiting nearby, to kill Rudolf.
Rudolf was stabbed 20 times with a sharp object, presumably a knife, while he lay in a state of confusion in his bed.
The accused then reportedly loaded his body into his car and drove it up to the Kappsfarm area, east of Windhoek and a few kilometres from the police check point, where the burnt car was later found.
They allegedly set the vehicle on fire in an effort to cover their tracks.
Rittmann is being held at the Klein Windhoek Police Station, while Du Preez is at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility’s holding cells.
Martino Olivier appeared for the State.