Du Preez admits to murder

04 Mar 2019 15:20pm
WINDHOEK, 04 MAR (NAMPA) – Ryno du Preez, a key suspect in a trial in which he and a Gobabis woman are believed to have killed her husband in 2013 in order to cash in on his inheritance, on Monday admitted to committing the offence.
Du Preez is charged in the matter along with his lover and alleged accomplice Rachel Rittmann, 45, in respect of the circumstances that led to the death of Rudolf Rittmann on 23 August 2013.
Rachel is the wife of the deceased.
Du Preez made the admissions in a statement he submitted before presiding High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg in accordance with the provisions of Section 220 of the Criminal Procedures Act of 1977 during the resumption of the murder trial on Monday.
Du Preez told the court he was personally involved in the planning and actual killing of the deceased and he did this with his co-accused, Rachel.
He told the court that on 23 August 2013, the day of the murder, he was in constant telephonic communication with Rachel before and after the killing of the deceased.
“On 23 August 2013, I left Windhoek for Gobabis as per the instructions of Rachel and arrived at the town in the evening hours. Rachel invited me to come inside the house after which I tied the deceased with cables (wires), whom I found lying in his bedroom. While I was busy tying the deceased up, a struggle broke out between me and the deceased and Rachel rushed to the kitchen and brought a knife. I then started stabbing the deceased with the knife until he became motionless,” the admission read.
Furthermore, Du Preez admitted that they then loaded the deceased’s body into his (deceased) own pick-up truck and drove towards Windhoek, before setting the vehicle alight while the body was inside.
The late Rudolf Rittmann’s burnt remains were found inside his vehicle by the police near the Hosea Kutako International Airport.
In addition, Du Preez also admitted that together with Rachel, he cleaned the room at a house in Gobabis where the murder took place in efforts to eliminate all the physical evidence that would link them to the crime.
“I admit that I was badly in love with Rachel Ritmann and this is the real reason why I was prepared to do anything she told me at the time,” he said.
Du Preez made the admissions in the presence of his Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer, Ileni Gebhardt.
These admissions were then accepted as evidence before court after Du Preez confirmed to the judge the correctness of the statement containing the admissions.
At the beginning of the trial in 2018, Du Preez also suffered irreparable setbacks when the first State witness, his brother Egenhardt du Preez, told the court that a plan to kill Rudolf Rittmann was discussed at a restaurant in Windhoek by the two accused in June 2013.
However, accused Rachel denied any involvement in the alleged planning and committing of the offence when she entered not guilty pleas to the charges against her at the start of the trial in 2018.
She told the court she was at no time involved in a conspiracy to kill her husband or in the actual killing of her husband.
Rachel is held at the Klein Windhoek Police Station, while Du Preez is kept at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s holding cells.
State advocates Martino Olivier and Ethel Ndlovu are representing the State.
The trial continues on Tuesday.