Gobabis love triangle murder case now ready for trial

24 Oct 2018 14:10pm
WINDHOEK, 24 OCT (NAMPA) – The trial of Gobabis resident Rachel Rittmann who allegedly connived with her lover to murder her husband in August 2013, is finally set to begin in the High Court here in December.
The trial of the love triangle killing saga is now scheduled to begin in the High Court on 03 December and the proceedings will run until 07 December 2018.
The 46-year-old Rittmann is charged with Ryno Ricardo du Preez, 34, in respect of the death of her husband Rudolf Rittmann, whose burnt remains were found in his car on the Windhoek-Gobabis road on 23 August 2013.
The date for the start of the trial was decided upon after reports were released by two private psychiatrists - Drs Reinhardt Sieberhagen and Gerhard Marx - showing Rittmann is fit to stand trial and is not suffering from any mental illness as she claimed since last year.
On 20 June 2017, Rachel, through her former defence lawyer asked the High Court to undergo 30 days of mental evaluation at the Windhoek Central Hospital’s psychiatric unit.
She was observed by the two private psychiatrists to determine her mental status prior to, at the time of, and after the commissioning of the offence after she told the court she has a history of anxiety and depression.
Rittmann and Du Preez 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 as well as a count of malicious damage to property.
She allegedly mixed unidentified tablets into her husband’s drink and he became drowsy and then called in Du Preez, who was waiting nearby, to kill him.
Rudolf was stabbed 20 times with a sharp object, presumably a knife, while he lay in a state of confusion in his bed.
It is alleged that the two accused then loaded his body into his car and drove it up to the Kappsfarm area, east of Windhoek and a few kilometres from the police checkpoint, where the burnt car was found.
Accused Rittmann is being held at the Klein Windhoek Police Station, while Du Preez is being held at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s holding cells until 03 December 2018 when they return to court for the start of their trial.
State Advocates Martino Olivier and Ethel Ndlovu are representing the prosecution.
Local veteran defence lawyer Johan van Vuuren is now defending Rittmann, following the withdrawal of her former defence representative Hipura Ujaha from the case.