I knew I would be caught, says Taliep murder accused

One of the men charged with musician Taliep Petersen’s murder on Wednesday said he knew he would be caught by the police.

Jefferson Snyders said this as his testimony drew to a close in the Cape High Court.

He was the last of the four accused—who include Petersen’s widow, Najwa—to take the stand.

Snyders, a self-taught mechanic, earlier told the court that he accompanied co-accused Waheed Hassen to the Petersens’ Athlone home on the night of December 16 2006 to take part in what he understood was to be a robbery staged for insurance-fraud purposes.

When he realised a killing was on the cards, he angrily left the house and was not present when Taliep was shot in the neck.

On Wednesday prosecutor Susan Galloway asked him why, if he had been so angry, he did not go to the police.

He said his friends, reading newspaper reports of the killing, had said to him: “Jefferson, if these pigs are caught, they are going to shit.”

“That made me afraid,” he told the court.

“I decided that on the day the police caught me, I would tell the truth. Because the things that one does in the dark come out in the light.
I knew I would be caught one day, no matter how much I kept quiet.”

He was arrested six months later, in June 2007—an event that he has already told the court was “a relief to me, to tell the truth”.

Asked whether, when he allegedly heard Najwa urging Hassen to finish the job and kill Taliep, he could have done anything to stop the murder, he replied: “Yes ... I blame myself to today that I did not do something to pull Waheed away and say, come Waheed.”

Asked whether he could have untied Taliep during a period he was left alone with the bound and bloody musician, he said: “Everything happened so quickly; I just wanted to get away.”

The trial was postponed to Thursday morning to allow Najwa’s defence team to consult forensic pathologist Leon Wagner, who has already testified in court.

If Wagner is recalled, his could be the last testimony before closing arguments in the trial.—Sapa

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