Judgement in Najwa murder trial on December 1

Judgement in the Taliep Petersen murder trial will be handed down on December 1, Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai said on Wednesday.

He made the announcement at the end of two-and-a-half days of closing arguments in a hearing that got under way in April this year.

Desai, who is sitting with two assessors, said there had been a great deal of evidence, and it would be a difficult, long and tedious task to evaluate it all.

Petersen’s widow, Najwa, and three alleged hit men have been charged with the execution-style killing of the renowned entertainer in the couple’s Athlone, Cape Town, home on the night of December 16 2006.

Two of her co-accused, Waheed Hassen and Jefferson Snyders, have admitted to a role in events on that night.

However, Snyders’s advocate, Roelf Konstabel, argued on Wednesday that Desai should find his client not guilty on all the charges he faced—murder, an alternative of conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and robbery.

He repeated the claim Snyders made when he testified—that Hassen had told him they were going to the Petersen home to stage a robbery for someone who wanted to claim from insurance.

When Snyders realised that Taliep was going to be shot, he left the scene, dissociating himself from the killing, Konstabel said.

“What he did do, I concede, he did kick the deceased, but that does not make him guilty of murder,” the advocate said.

By leaving the scene, Snyders had also dissociated himself from the robbery.

Quizzed by Desai on why Snyders did not pull out even earlier, when he saw as they entered the house that Hassen was carrying a gun, Konstabel said Snyders did not know at that stage whether the gun was real, or, if it was, whether it was even loaded.

“If he walks away he can’t be found guilty of robbery ... he can’t be found guilty on any of the charges,” he said.

All four accused are in custody.—Sapa

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