Najwa will testify, says advocate

Murder accused Najwa Petersen is going to testify in her own defence, her advocate, Klaus von Lieres und Wilkau, said on Tuesday.

The revelation came during his cross-examination of Fahiem Hendricks, who says he arranged hit men at Najwa’s request to kill her entertainer husband, Taliep.

Von Lieres told Hendricks that his client “will testify” that she lent him R20 000 on two occasions, and R10 000 on a third, shortly before Taliep’s death.

She would say he had been behind on repayments of the R10 000, and that she phoned him to ask when she would get her money.

She would also testify, Von Lieres said, that when he came to her house to make a repayment on the R10 000, she gave him four cut diamonds to sell for a total of R250 000, promising him a commission of R10 000.

“There was no diamond transaction. That was also a lie,” replied Hendricks.

He told the court in his evidence-in-chief that to provide a cover for the string of calls between himself and Najwa in the run-up to the killing, he initially told police that they were having affair, then at her insistence changed the story to say they were involved in an illicit diamond transaction.

He made three statements to police, the first two of which, he said on Tuesday, were false.

In one of them, handed in as an exhibit, he described the supposed affair.

“We just kissed, and did not have sexual relations,” he said in it.

He told the court that when Najwa initially asked him to find hit men, he was “a bit shocked”. It was only after she made repeated follow-up phone calls that he asked accused number two in the case, Abdoer Emjedi, whether he could arrange hit men.

Najwa, Abdoer Emjedi, Waheed Hassen and Jefferson Snyders have all pleaded not guilty to the December 2006 killing.—Sapa

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