News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
10 Mar 2017
5:51 am

Correctional services interdicted from releasing Povlsen’s widow

Ilse de Lange

Maria Povlsen was implicated in her husband Preben's murder after the elderly millionaire was killed in his luxury Gordon’s Bay home in January 2008.

Court-hammer.

The daughter of a murdered Danish millionaire has obtained an urgent court order to stop the release of his Ugandan wife from a South African jail.

Judge Sheila Mphahlele granted an order in the North Gauteng High Court to Danish citizen Joan Kjaergaard and her husband Mads, interdicting Correctional Services from releasing Maria Povlsen pending the finalisation of an application to set aside the decision to release her on parole.

Povlsen, a Ugandan citizen, was in March 2013 sentenced to eight years effective imprisonment on charges of being an accessory after the fact to the murder of her husband, Danish millionaire Preben Povlsen, and stealing his car.

Her brother, former Ugandan child soldier Francis Kimeze, was sent to jail for 25 years for his role in the brutal attack on the 71-year-old Povlsen, and her sister Stella Ssengendo was sentenced to seven years for being an accessory.

The elderly millionaire was murdered in his luxury Gordon’s Bay home in January 2008. His body was stuffed into the boot of his car and later dumped at Bloubergstrand.

He had been stabbed 45 times, had a broken neck and his body had been partially burnt.

His young Ugandan wife initially reported to the police and her husband’s family that he had disappeared after going for a round of golf, but a Western Cape High Court judge found that she and her co-accused were all involved in the murder and had carefully tidied up the murder scene.

The court in April 2010 placed the couple’s two children in the care of Povlsen’s daughter and her husband in Denmark, but ordered that the mother would resume full parental responsibilities upon her release from prison.

The Kjaergaards’ attorney, John Riley, said in an affidavit it had come to his clients’ attention that Maria Povlsen would be released on parole on March 9 after serving half of her sentence, whereafter she would be deported to Uganda.

However, the murdered man’s family never had a chance to make representations to the Parole Board and were advised that the board would not revisit its decision without a court order.

Riley said the couple intended placing expert evidence before the Parole Board about why Maria Povlsen should not be released.

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