08 Dec 2017 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 08 DEC (NAMPA) - A date for the start of the trial of Gobabis resident Rachel Elizabeth Rittmann, who allegedly connived with her lover to murder her husband on 23 August 2013, will be decided upon in the High Court here on 16 April 2018.
This is as per agreement reached on Friday between State Advocate, Martino Olivier and Government-funded defence lawyers Hipura Ujaha and Boris Isaacks, who are representing the accused woman and her lover respectively.
On the same day, the outcome of a mental evaluation conducted by local private psychiatrist, Dr Reinhardt Sieberhagen, in respect of Rittmann's mental health status prior to, during and after the commissioning of the alleged murder offence, will also be made known in court.
On 20 June 2017, Rittmanns defence lawyer Ujaha asked High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg to allow his client to undergo mental evaluation, claiming a history of anxiety and depression, which he believed made his client unfit to understand and follow court proceedings.
Rittmann, 46, is charged along with her lover, Ryno Ricardo du Preez, in respect of the death of her husband, 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.
Rittman allegedly fed her husband unidentified tablets in a drink and he became drowsy. She then allegedly called in Du Preez, who was waiting nearby, to kill him.
The victim 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 which is east of Windhoek and a few kilometres from the police checkpoint, where the burnt car was found.
The accused allegedly set the vehicle on fire in an effort to cover their tracks.
Rittmann is in custody at the Klein Windhoek Police Station, while Du Preez is being held at the Windhoek Correctional Facilitys holding cells.