On June 1 2015, Odette Barkhuizen, a 43-year-old mother-of-two was shot twice once in the head and once in the chest on June 1 as she got out of her car while on a normal trip to to her Johannesburg Oakdene office where she was working with her husband.
Almost two months before her murder, George took out three insurance policies on her life. In late April, he took out a R2 million policy with Praesidio Risk Managers, then he took out another R2 million policy with Sanlam and on the same day, he took out the third policy with another insurance firm, worth R3.5 million, totaling R7.5 million.
Prior to her murder, Barkhuizens had purchased latex gloves, a plastic poncho, a dark conti suit and dark boots in his size in what could have been an endeavor to hide the claimed wrongdoing.
Barkhuizen’s alleged plot took place just 50 days before Odette Barkhuizen was shot and killed during what had appeared to have been a staged hijacking at the time
Despite the fact that the pair were alienated and dozed in independent rooms, they lived and cooperated. Odette had requested a separation.
George Barkhuizen supposedly arranged his wifes murdering.
His confession came during the three-hour interrogation that led to his arrest on Tuesday afternoon.
In e-mails to the insurers, George instructed them not to contact Odette about the policies because she was in Cape Town to “bury her aunt”.
However, her family have confirmed that she didn’t go to Cape Town, nor did she have an aunt who had died in “a car accident”, as George had stated in his e-mails.
The damning evidence against George is coupled with Odette’s will, which was renewed on April 24.
The will states: “I (bequest) that any and all assets be bequeathed to George Barkhuizen.”
Both witnesses who signed the will, who were George and Odette’s employees, said they didn’t see Odette’s signature on the document when they signed it.
The witnesses revealed this after they were interviewed by Paul O’Sullivan and Melissa Naidu, the private investigators who took up the case pro bono after her death.
Analysis by a handwriting expert also confirms that the signature on the will was forged.
Hannes Hattingh from Forensic Document Consultants said in his report: “The disputed signature is in all probability a simulated forgery of the person’s signature who signed the specimen signatures.”
Hattingh noted the discrepancies in each letter of the signature and stated that the signature was shorter and “the line quality is inferior”.
The Star has seen the will and the report.
The final piece of evidence that has convinced Odette’s family that George is a suspect is a receipt from Builders Warehouse which they found in Odette’s house on the Tuesday afternoon after his arrest.
The receipt, dated April 13, shows that, with his debit card, George bought latex gloves, a plastic poncho, a grey conti suit and a pair of black boots in his size.
George was due to make his first appearance in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.