Constantia man weeps during first appearance for wife’s murder

Cape Town – Neatly dressed in a blue checked shirt and red jersey, Rob Packham wept in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court where he appeared on charges of murdering his wife and defeating the ends of justice.

He is accused of the premeditated murder of his wife Gill and of destroying evidence relating to her death, following her disappearance on February 22.

Prosecutor Brynmor Benjamin said the State intended to oppose Packham’s release on bail, fearing that evidence “might be lost” if he was released.

Magistrate Goolam Bawa denied defence attorney Ben Mathewson’s request that Packham be held at Diep River police station.

He will be held at Pollsmoor until his next appearance on Friday, to determine the schedule of the offences of which he is accused.

Packham was arrested on Thursday – the same day his wife’s remains were identified.

Gill’s charred remains were found in the boot of a burnt-out vehicle at the Diep River train station two weeks ago and identified by means of forensic DNA comparison.

The 57-year-old accused who, according to his LinkedIn profile is a general manager at Twizza in Cape Town, was arrested at his Constantia home.

The couple’s daughters, Nicola and Kerry Anne, both attended their father’s first court appearance.

Gill, also 57, went missing on February 22.

She had been reported missing by a relative on the Thursday afternoon and had been last seen leaving her home that morning in her green BMW sedan, police said at the time.

The administrator had been on her way to Springfield Convent School in Wynberg, where she worked.

On the same day, the burnt-out BMW was found at the station. Her body was found in the boot after the fire was extinguished.

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