Crime & CourtsSouth Africa

Abusive boyfriend convicted of the premeditated murder of his ex-girlfriend

Cape Town – The high court in the Western Cape has convicted an abusive boyfriend of the premeditated murder of his ex-girlfriend, Allison Plaatjies, whom he beat up, bit, stabbed and whose throat he slit.

Plaatjies’s ex-boyfriend, Phillip April, was also convicted for stealing her vehicle. April had previously denied this charge, claiming that she had permitted him to drive her car.

Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said “This conviction follows the State declining to accept the accused’s guilty plea when he confessed to Plaatjies’s murder.

In the guilty plea, the accused indicated that he and Plaatjies were romantically involved and that on October 26, 2019, she arrived at his friend’s place, where they were watching rugby and drinking. He claims that Plaatjies persuaded him to go with her to her flat, as she had brought him something to eat.

April also claimed that Plaatjies was not happy with him drinking alcohol, and she told him that she was going out with her friends. An argument broke out between the two when April asked Plaatjies why she had taken him away from his friends when she knew that she would be going out with her friends.

When the argument escalated, April grabbed Plaatjies by her throat and choked her before he went to the kitchen to pick up a knife, with which he stabbed her. When the knife broke he got another one and slit her throat.

April then took off his tracksuit pants, which were stained with blood, and threw them in the shower. He left the flat to go sleep at his mother’s place.

The accused spent the following two days after the murder on a drinking spree with a friend, while driving the Plaatjies’s vehicle. The two drove to Graafwater and Citrusdal where he was arrested on October 28, 2019, on their way to Clanwilliam.

State advocate Rene Uys declined April’s plea because she believed his story was not the entire truth and lacked vital evidence proving that it was not a premeditated murder.

Ntabazalila said: “Advocate Uys called five witnesses who testified that the accused and the deceased were no longer in a romantic relationship during the murder.

“The accused requested to see the deceased on 25 October 2019, but she refused. He then showed up at her work, Cederberg Primary School, bringing her lunch and requesting her keys to her flat under the pretence that he wanted to do her washing.”

With the help of the witnesses called by the State, advocate Uys proved that April and Plaatjies had an argument outside the friend’s place and that they drove together to her flat, where he beat her up while sitting on top of her, went to fetch a knife and stabbed her. The knife broke, so he fetched another one and slit her throat.

According to pathologist, Dr Linda Liebenberg, who conducted the post-mortem of Plaatjies, the accused is said to have also bitten parts of her face.

“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,” said Ntabazalila.

It was revealed that April’s attack was unrelenting; he did not appear to have stopped to think about his actions.

“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.”

Advocate Uys also proved that the accused stole the deceased’s vehicle.

Ntabazalila said: “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 case has been postponed to December 1 for sentencing.


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