A 30-year-old Brakpan woman who is accused of murdering her much older husband has been referred for mental observation to determine if she is fit to stand trial.
Judge Bert Bam yesterday postponed the trial of Cathy van Oudtshoorn to July pending mental observation.
The court was told Van Oudtshoorn was pregnant with twins and might not be able to attend her trial as the babies were due in June or July. But Bam said there was no reason why a pregnant woman could not stand trial.
He ordered Van Oudtshoorn to provide her address to the investigating officer and to report within 24 hours once a bed was ready at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital.
Van Oudtshoorn is accused of murdering her husband Chris, 58, an electrical engineer, at their house in Brakpan in April 2016 and telling the police her husband was killed while she was elsewhere, and that she had found his body in their ransacked home.
The state alleges Van Oudtshoorn shot her husband while he was sitting watching television at their home and then roped in her mother, Jorina van Niekerk, 55, to make the scene look as if there had been a robbery.
Van Oudtshoorn’s mother, who was previously also married to the deceased, is serving a five-year jail term after pleading guilty in September last year to charges of being an accessory to murder and defeating the administration of justice.
Van Niekerk said in a statement her daughter had informed her that she wanted to kill her husband and paid two men R2 500 to do the job, but later told her if the men did not want to do it, she would do it herself.
She said she was really shocked when her daughter told her she had shot her husband, but helped her to throw things around to make it appear like a robbery and also made a false statement to the police to help her evade justice.