WATCH | Death, fire and CCTV: How state linked Rob Packham to wife’s murder
Businessman explains why he missed an appointment with the police the morning after her disappearance
When Rob Packham was scheduled to give a statement to the police the morning after his wife’s disappearance, he took a “scenic drive”, lost track of time and missed the meeting.
This was the conclusion reached by prosecutor Susan Galloway while cross-examining Packham in the Cape Town High Court on Tuesday about the murder of his wife Gill.
“You do not bother to check the time while you’re driving?” Galloway asked Packham, who missed his 8.30am appointment with the police on February 23 2018.
“At that point in time, I had assumed the worst,” said Packham. “It was not my intention to be late [and miss the meeting].”
Packham said he drove “all along the coast, from Hout Bay to the promenade at Sea Point” that Friday morning. “I went by all the beautiful views Gill and I used to go to and tried to understand how this happened.”
The Constantia businessman said he had been too tired by the previous day’s events to give a statement that night. He had already pushed back the meeting with police, which was initially scheduled for 8am.
This was not the first of Packham’s missed encounters with the police.
The police said that after Packham attempted to file a missing person report at Wynberg police station on the evening of February 22, they advised him to go instead to the Diep River police station – but he never made it.According to Packham, the police at Wynberg took his information and told him they would pass it on to Diep River.“‘Don’t worry, the people at Diep River will know how to handle it,’” Packham recalled the police at Wynberg telling him. He said he felt as if he had adequately reported his wife missing.
He told Galloway he could not remember when he planned to go to Diep River police station, and that he probably would have gone before he went to his sister’s home in Tokai later that night – but forgot.Packham allegedly killed his wife Gill, put her body in the boot of her car and set it alight at Diep River railway station on February 22. Gill’s body was found in the boot of the car after firefighters extinguished the flames. He has pleaded not guilty.Galloway stated in court that her cross-examination of Packham can be expected to end by noon on Wednesday.The trial continues.