Constantia husband's grief revealed in bail application
On Friday magistrate Goolam Bawa announced Packham’s release from custody on R50 000 bail.
Packham, 57, is accused of the murder of his wife Gill, 57, a Springfield Convent School administrator, as well as defeating the ends of justice and destroying evidence relating to her death following her disappearance on February 22.
His daughters Kerry, 27, and Nicola, 25, were supported at the bail hearing by Gill Packham’s sister and their father’s sister, Judith Markwell, who, it is understood, is likely to be a State witness.
Packham’s affidavit disclosed his desire to be released and reunited with his children.
“I have a very close relationship with my daughters and they are leaning on me heavily as they try to deal with the sudden and tragic passing of their mother,” read his affidavit. “I have the full support of my family during this terrible time and they all support my release on bail.”
Packham said continued incarceration would be a double blow for his children. “It will mean that they will have lost both parents in a very short space of time. Without me, my daughters will have no stability in what is already a very dark life ahead of them without their mother.
“I am grieving the loss of my wife. Her passing was very sudden and unexpected, and my incarceration is now tearing me away from my children which I have found to be incredibly painful for us all. Without my wife, I feel that I need my children as much as they need me and I am finding my prolonged separation from them excruciating and deeply traumatic.”
Seven days in Pollsmoor was not a picnic for the chartered accountant who was the former Aramis brand marketing manager and then chief executive at Cape Cookies.
“My incarceration placed severe emotional strain on myself as well as my family who are also in deep grief at the loss of my wife. The conditions in the cells are filthy and unhygienic.
“Should I not be released from custody, I have no doubt that my health will suffer immensely and I fear for the consequences,” said Packham, who declared that he was on chronic medication for an under-active thyroid.
Twizza manager Packham was arrested last Fr iday and released from Pollsmoor yesterday under strict bail conditions which include house arrest at his R4.5 million Constantia home. He has to report to the Diep River police station twice a week. He also has to surrender his passport and may not leave the Western Cape.
A witness who allegedly could incriminate Packham is the reason why the magistrate ordered that his face be obscured in any published photographs.
“The face of the accused should be blocked for the purposes of reporting or news purposes until the State has concluded that part of its investigation,” said Bawa.
The magistrate was referring to an upcoming identity parade. According to a source, this will involve a neighbourhood watch guard who apparently spotted a frustrated driver at the wheel of Gill Packham’s BMW in a parking lot behind the Diep River railway station. Gill Packham’s charred body was found in the boot of her burnt-out car later that evening.
In Packham’s bail application affidavit handed up on Friday, he indicated that he would plead not guilty to all charges.