“I was quite sober – I only had ‘three doubles with water’ beforehand”
A South African woman who beat her husband to death with her bare hands in 2010 was this week found guilty of murder by the Pretoria District Court.
Rachel Elizabeth “Rolene” Botha, 55, sat on her husband, Johan Botha, in a motorcycle shop, screamed “Vrek, jou poes!” [die, you jerk] and smashed his head repeatedly on the concrete floor.
According to the post-mortem report, Johan had sustained multiple head injuries, several broken ribs and severe bruising.
Three witnesses told the court that on the day of the murder, Rolene had arrived at the shop, demanding to see her husband. The shop had formerly belonged to the Bothas, but they had sold it to Johan Botha’s brother and his wife, to whom they owed money.
An argument ensued, during which Rolene’s sister-in-law, Tania Botha, telephoned Johan, who arrived and told his wife to leave.
Rolene punched and pushed her husband, who then fell down, and she continued the assault.
Her claim of self-defence and version of events was rejected.
Rolene also told the court that she was quite sober during the attack on her husband, as she had only had “three doubles with water” beforehand.
The case was postponed for pre-sentencing reports.