Rittmann awaits mental evaluation

30 Aug 2017 12:40pm
WINDHOEK, 30 AUG (NAMPA) - Gobabis resident Rachel Elizabeth Rittmann, who allegedly connived with her lover to murder her husband on 23 August 2013, has not yet undergone mental observation.
State Advocate, Ethel Ndlovu informed High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg on Wednesday during a pre-trial of case management review that the prosecuting authority has not secured a place at the Windhoek Central Hospital’s psychiatric unit.
Rittmann has been ordered to undergo 30 days of observation at the psychiatric unit.
This development has prompted the court to remand her case until 21 September 2017 for the prosecution to secure a place.
On 20 June 2017, Rittmann, through her State-funded defence lawyer Hipura Ujaha, asked the High Court to allow her to undergo mental evaluation.
Ujaha wants his client to be examined by either a State or private psychiatrist to determine her mental status prior to, at the time, and after the commissioning of the offence.
He said she has a history of anxiety and depression, and for these reasons he fears that his client is not fit to understand and follow court proceedings.
Rittmann, 46, is charged along with her lover, Ryno Ricardo du Preez, in respect of the death of Rudolf Rittmann, whose burnt remains were found in his car on 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 in a drink and he became drowsy.
She then called in Du Preez, who was waiting nearby, to kill him.
Rudolf Rittmann was stabbed 20 times with a sharp object, presumably a knife, while he lay in a state of confusion in his bed.
The two 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 found.
They allegedly set the vehicle on fire in an effort to cover their tracks.
Rachel is held at the Klein Windhoek Police Station, while Du Preez is being held at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s holding cells.
Boris Isaacks is defending Du Preez.