Court finds Najwa guilty of murder

Najwa Petersen and two of her co-accused have been found guilty of the December 2006 murder of her entertainer husband, Taliep.

The ruling was handed down by Judge Siraj Desai in the Cape High Court shortly after noon on Tuesday.

Desai said Najwa had been an appalling witness and her testimony had been neither logical nor consistent.

”It festers with lies,” he said.

He found Najwa, Abdoer Emjedi and Waheed Hassen guilty of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Hassen was found guilty on firearm and ammunition charges.

The fourth accused, Jefferson Snyders, was found not guilty of murder but convicted on one count of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

On Monday during his judgement, Desai repeatedly cast doubt on Najwa’s version of the events surrounding the murder of Taliep.

Najwa’s version of events on the night of the murder was that she, Taliep and her son and daughter-in-law were the victims of violent robbers.

However, Desai said the fact that, on her evidence, the robber who woke her up did not search her or take her cellphone was conduct inconsistent with that of a real robber.

It created the impression the robber knew he was just supposed to accompany her to another room and get money from a safe.

What happened when she led the robber to her son’s bedroom was likewise more consistent with an arranged attack than a real robbery.

Desai said repeatedly there appeared to be no robbery-related reason for Taliep’s killing, because when the fatal shot was fired, she, her son and daughter-in-law were locked up in bedrooms, and Taliep was lying bound on the floor. He said Najwa had speculated that Taliep might have seen the face of one of the two men, but on her evidence they were both wearing balaclavas, so this was hardly likely.

The judge said the first robber had locked her in a bedroom with her cellphone, and a Telkom phone was clearly visible on a pedestal next to the bed, either of which she could have used to call the police.

This was not something an intelligent robber would have done, unless he knew the victim was cooperating. — Sapa

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