George Barkhuizen, 48, who is charged with the murder of his wife, Odette, application for acquittal has been refused on Monday in Johannesburg High Court. Barkhuizen is charged with murder, fraud, possession of an unlicensed firearm and illegal possession of ammunition and is expected to appear in court on 5 March. Odette was shot in the chest and head on 11 June 2015 under mysterious circumstances outside her workplace in Oakdene, Johannesburg, allegedly by a man who fled in her Kia sports utility vehicle.
The vehicle has been found two streets further. Her husband, claimed for months, "We'll catch the " bliksem" , " was arrested on 8 September 2015.
Adv. Sita Kolbe SC, Barkhuizen's legal representative, had earlier brought the art. 174 application asking for Barkhuizen to be released because the state does not have a prima facie case that he is guilty of charges against him.
Kolbe argued that certain relevant evidence in the case was not presented to the court "because it does not support the state's case".
She referred to three people "with relevant evidence", namely an eyewitness who apparently ran away from the scene at the time of the murder, a member of a community police forum that found Odette's cell phone at a pawnshop, and more witnesses at the scene where the deceased's vehicle was found, who heard how an eyewitness reported to the police that three black men jumped in a vehicle and drove away.
Kolbe said that the former was by the investigating officer, art. Naomi Weideman, interrogated, but argued Weideman retained the testimony from the court. This police member was allegedly questioned by police and forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan and his employee Melissa Naidu, but the evidence also died silently, Kolbe said.
Judge Ramarumo Monama also has dismissed on Monday, Kolbe's art. 186 application. Kolbe has applied for this application together with the art. 174 application and requested that it be considered if the art. 174 application failed.
This article obliges a judge to call witnesses which, in the opinion of the court, are necessary for the fair outcome of the case.
Kolbe said the state was relying on circumstantial evidence, which is not enough to prove her client guilty.
However, the state persisted that he had enough evidence to blame Barkhuizen for the murder of his wife and the other charges, state prosecutor Riegel du Toit said.
Du Toit has, (in his arguments against the art. 174 application) emphasizes that circumstantial evidence is entirely sufficient for the state's case.
The state alleges that in April 2015, Barkhuizen took out three life insurance policies in her name in April 2015 - only two months before Odette's death.
According to the accusation, Barkhuizen is the only beneficiary of these three policies worth R7, 5 million. "(Odette) knew nothing about the policies".
The accused thus deceived the insurance companies. In addition, the state claimed the signature on the testament lodged with the High Court is not Odette's signature.