Odette Barkhuizen

George Barkhuizen jailed for life for murdering his wife in order to claim her insurance worth R7.5m

South Africa Businessman George Barkhuizen who murdered wife in order to claim her insurance worth R7.5m has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife, Odette also charges of fraud, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

He was also handed 15 years for fraud, six years for the possession of an illegal firearm and two years for the possession of illegal ammunition,

His late wife, Odette Barkhuizen was shot and killed on June 11 2015 in a mock-hijacking for insurance purposes.

Weeks before his wife was killed in June 2015, Barkhuizen allegedly took out an insurance policy worth R7.5million

Odette, 43, was shot in the head and chest and after it was initially believed that her murder was linked to a hijacking, Barkhuizen became the prime suspect.

This ruling by Gauteng High Court on Friday comes in the wake of several gender-based violence protests, with the latest one held in Pretoria on Friday by public servants.

Barkhuizen had sent his insurer an email asking if they would pay out if she died in a hijacking, it emerged during court proceedings.

One of their sons had reportedly informed the police that his parents marriage was going through rough times…… He said, they were sleeping in separate bedrooms and his mother had indicated that she wanted to file for a divorce.

Hours after what was thought to be a hijacking took place, her car was found close to her Oakdene home. George became the prime suspect in the murder, and was arrested on September 8, 2015.
His first court appearance was on September 16, 2015, where his bail application was denied. He appeared in court again on October 29 and the case was postponed to November 23, 2015.

He appeared in court again on October 10, 2017, and the case has since been postponed more than once.

Barkhuizen’s lawyer Rudi Krause indicated his client would appeal the conviction after he previously argued in court that the State had no case, and that evidence relied upon was circumstantial