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State wants life in jail for ex-lovers that killed husband

Ryno Ricardo Du Preez


A state prosecutor has asked High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg to sentence Ryno Ricardo Du Preez and Rachel Rittman to life in jail for the murder of Rittman’s husband, Rudolff Rittman.

Du Preez and Rachel are ex-lovers who conspired to murder Rudolff and went on to take his life by stabbing him multiple times with a knife before setting his body alight in his bakkie.

The two were found guilty of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the course of justice.
Initial reports were that the lovebirds plotted to scoop in the deceased’s estate.
They have been acquitted on a charge of robbery.
Rachel and Du Preez this week Monday appeared in court for pre-sentencing.

Rachel Rittman

Du Preez has told court that he has since asked for forgiveness from the family of the deceased from his holding cells.
“I told them what happened to their son. I told the court what happened and what the circumstances where that led to the loss of his life. I am fully ready to take responsibility for my deeds,” he said.
He also told the court that for the past six years that he has been in holding cells, he had found comfort in God, took a voluntary bible study course and got three diplomas and two certificates.
The convict has also pleaded for a lighter sentence, telling the judge that he wanted to be given another chance so that he can be an inspiration to those who may find themselves in the same fate as befell him.
“I learnt a lot in the past six years. The most important thing is that a man should be led by principles, have a vision and be God fearing. To cause pain to someone is not a good thing,” he said.
Du Preez asked for apology from the deceased’s children telling the court that he understood the pain of losing a father because he himself grew up without one.
Rudolf left behind two children, a daughter by the name Candle and a son who is at university.
Du Preez said he has no previous conviction although he had a case in Okahandja which got ultimately withdrawn for lack of evidence.
At the time of the commission of the crime, Du Preez was just 29-years of age while his then lover, Rachel, was 42 years of age.
He said he had no children of his own, did school until Grade 12, had no other qualification besides work experience in the construction business.
Du Preez’s lawyer pleaded for a lighter sentence for her client submitting during mitigation that he was not the mastermind of the murder, but Rachel.
She said her client had expressed remorse, that he took the court into confidence and provided all facts surrounding the matter.
“Although he was not a teenager, but he was young when he committed the crime, the decision that he took was influenced by the romantic relationship he was in,” she said.
Rachel’s lawyer also asked the Judge to be lenient saying his client was suffering from multiple sicknesses ranging from insomnia, hyper-tension and headaches.
Rachel who was married before, met the deceased the very same year that she got divorced.
She only has a grade nine certificate.
The lawyer asked the Judge to consider that Rachel had already spent 6 years in holding cells.
Meanwhile, High Court Judge Liebenberg will hand down the judgement on the 22nd of October 2019.

Kelvin Chiringa

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