Packham’s wife ‘slain after pledge to renew vows’
But daughter also tells court wife was unhappy that Packham had said he still had feelings for his mistress
The daughter of Cape Town businessman Rob Packham, on trial for his wife Gill’s murder, might have added fuel to an already raging marital fire by urging her father to come clean about his infidelity.
The prosecution called Packham’s daughter to the witness stand on Monday in the Cape Town High Court to bolster its case against her father. The media was banned from taking pictures of her and filming her testimony after she said this would affect her confidence and her work.
The daughter said she had known about Packham’s extramarital affair for “years” and told him to confess to Gill. She said Packham came clean in October 2017 – and things went downhill from there.
“My father had informed her on a Friday evening that he had been seeing another woman after I insisted that he speaks to her,” the daughter said.
“I felt that it was time for my mother to know about it. [I had known about the relationship for] several years.”
The couple then attended regular marriage counselling since from November 2017 until the day before Gill’s death on February 21 2018. Packham’s counsel, Craig Webster, described the sessions as progressive and that the session a day before Gill disappeared “was the most positive”.
But prosecutor Susan Galloway disagreed, saying Gill was not happy about the session at all. The daughter said Packham had admitted he still had feelings for his mistress.
But the daughter also said Packham had told his children he and Gill intended renewing their vows. She said Packham had bought Gill a diamond ring.
Packham is charged with murder and defeating the ends of justice. He allegedly killed his wife, Gill, put her body in the boot of her car and set it alight at the Diep River railway station a year ago.
According to the state, Packham was bust by licence recognition cameras which showed him driving Gill’s BMW, while cellphone towers showed that he drove around Constansia on the day of her disappearance.
Gill’s charred body was found in the boot of the car after firefighters extinguished the flames. An autopsy showed that a blunt force trauma to the head had killed her.
The alarm was raised when she did not arrive for work at Springfield Convent, a high school in Wynberg, where she was a secretary. Packham’s bail was revoked in December after he breached his conditions by contacting witnesses.
The trial continues.