/ 23 April 2008

Najwa pulled the trigger, court hears

Najwa Petersen was the one who fired the shot that killed her husband, Taliep, the Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

The claim was made in a confession by Waheed Hassen, one of the hit men she allegedly hired to carry out the killing.

It was admitted unopposed as evidence after he unexpectedly announced on Wednesday morning that he wanted to change his plea to guilty.

In the 15-page handwritten confession, Hassen said that on the night of the murder in December 2006, with Taliep tied up on the floor of the family home, Najwa repeatedly urged him to shoot her husband.

He said he fetched a pink cushion, folded it over the gun he had brought with him, and told her to do it herself.

”I kept it with both my hands on the outside of the cushion. She was standing on my left-hand side about two feet away from her own husband.

”At that time I was looking to my right … and in a split second I felt her hand between mine, one single shot rang through my ears she screamed.

”I sank so low it was like a scene from a movie, I knew I had to get away.”

Hassen said in the confession, made soon after his arrest in June last year, that he had been having sleepless nights over the murder, and that he begged forgiveness from Taliep’s family and from his own.

Judge Siraj Desai adjourned the trial to Thursday to allow Hassen’s advocate to consult with his client on formal admissions in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act. — Sapa