Abusive Boyfriend Convicted Of Former Partner’s Murder

The High Court of South Africa: Western Cape Division has convicted an abusive boyfriend, Phillip April, for the premeditated murder of his ex-girlfriend, Allison Plaatjies. The court also convicted him for the theft of her vehicle, a charge he vehemently denied as he indicated that the deceased permitted him to drive her car.  This conviction follows the State declined to accept the accused’s guilty plea when he confessed to Plaatjies’ murder. In the guilty plea, he indicates that he and the deceased were romantically involved and that on 26 October 2019, the deceased arrived at his friend’s place, where they were watching rugby and drinking. He claims that the deceased persuaded him to go with her to her flat, as she had brought him something to eat.

He further claims that she was not happy with him consuming alcohol, and she told him that she was going out with her friends. He asked her why she took him from his friends when she knew that she would be going out with her friends. The argument got more serious, and he grabbed her by her throat and choked her. He then went to the kitchen, picked up a knife and stabbed her.

The knife broke and he went back to the kitchen to fetch another knife and slit her throat. He then took off the bloodied trackpants he was wearing, threw them in the shower and then left the flat. He went to sleep at his mother’s place. He then went on a drinking spree with a friend the following two days, while driving the deceased’s vehicle. They drove to Graafwater, Citrusdal until he was arrested on 28 October 2019, on their way to Clanwilliam, after he was informed that police were looking for him.

To any other person, this confession would have been acceptable, and commendable for the accused to plead guilty to the spare-of-the-moment murder of his girlfriend but not to the bloodhound wide-awake State Adv. Rene Uys, who immediately smelled that April, left out vital evidence proving that it was a premeditated murder.  Uys declined his guilty plea, and the court entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. Adv. Uys called five witnesses, who testified that the accused and the deceased were no longer in a romantic relationship during the murder. That the accused requested to see the deceased on 25 October 2019, but she refused. He then showed up at her work, Cedeberg Primary School, bringing her lunch and requesting her keys to her flat under the pretence that he wanted to do her washing.

She proved that they had an argument outside the friend’s place and that they drove together to her flat. He beat her up while sitting on top of her, went to fetch a knife, stabbed her, it broke, fetched another one and slit her throat. He also bit parts of her face, while she was still alive which the pathologist, Dr Linda Liebenberg, who conducted the postmortem says must have been the most deceased injuries, due to the sensitive nature of the facial tissue in the areas of the face where the accused had bitten her. Dr Liebenberg also testified that the deceased had wounds on their face, her back, the back of her neck and wounds on her hands indicating that she fought back., “The accused never mentioned these injuries in his plea. The deceased was a victim of a brutal attack by the accused. The accused does not deny killing her but excludes the bulk of the pain he inflicted on her before her premature death.

The accused was unrelenting during his physical attack on the deceased. He never took any time to consider sparing her life. She was alive for the bulk of her injuries and fought hard to be alive. Her efforts were fruitless in the unrelenting attack by the accused. The level of anxiety she experienced before her death according to Dr Liebenberg was “severe”. Uys also proved that the accused stole the deceased’s vehicle. “The state submits that the accused had no right to possess or use the deceased vehicle. The state submits that it is obvious that she could not consent to him using her vehicle after killing her. He stole her car and used it the entire weekend. Even after being informed that the deceased was in an accident on 27 October 2019, he tried to convince his friends to drive to Cape Town in her car.

The court accepted this evidence and that the state proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The case has been postponed to 1Decemeber 2022, for sentencing procedures.

Note: The NPA’s media statements are available on the website: www.npa.gov.za

Issued by:

Eric Ntabazalila

National Prosecuting Authority

Regional Communications Manager

Western Cape

Tel: (021) 487 7308Mobile: 073 062 1222

Email: entabazalila@npa.gov.za

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