Najwa returns home for court inspection

Murder accused Najwa Petersen on Thursday returned to her Cape Town home for the first time since her arrest early last year.

But her every move was watched by a ring of heavily armed police.

She was taken to the Grasmere Street, Athlone, house under police guard for an on-the-spot inspection by Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai and his two assessors.

Najwa and three alleged hit men on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to the 2006 execution-style shooting of her husband, Taliep, in a room in the upper storey of the house.

Neighbours peered over front gates and garden walls as the judge and assessors, defence advocates, prosecutors, police and the four accused arrived at the house, which was cordoned off by police tape.

Najwa and her co-accused waited in the street as Desai and the lawyers inspected the outside of the property.

While she was standing there her nine-year-old daughter came out and hugged her mother.

As the cameras of press photographers clicked, Najwa stroked her daughter’s hair and spoke quietly to her.

After twenty minutes the inspecting party and the accused moved inside the house, which is surrounded by a high wall topped with electric fencing.

All the doors visible from the street have metal security gates and there has been testimony that the house is also protected by a camera surveillance system and a burglar alarm.

A council refuse collection team took a break from their rounds emptying dustbins to watch the judge and the lawyers as they inspected the outside of the house.

They left when the party went inside.

The inspection, which began shortly after 10am, lasted an hour.—Sapa

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