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South African man who murdered wife in order to claim her insurance worth N172,500,000 is jailed for life


George Barkhuizen, a South African businessman has been sentenced to life in jail in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg for the murder of his wife, Odette who was killed in what was initially thought to be a hijacking four years ago.

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.

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Weeks before his wife was killed in June 2015, Barkhuizen allegedly took out an insurance policy worth R7.5million which is about N172,500,000.


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.

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

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At the time of the murder, the couple’s marriage was going through rough times.

One of their sons had reportedly informed the police that his parents were sleeping in separate bedrooms and his mother had indicated that she wanted to file for a divorce.

Barkhuizen played the role of the grieving husband so well but investigators identified him as a suspect following weeks of investigation.

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Barkhuizen’s lawyer Rudi Krause indicated his client would appeal the conviction.

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