Najwa to be sentenced next Wednesday

Convicted murderess Najwa Petersen and her three co-accused will be sentenced next Wednesday.

Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai made the announcement on Thursday after hearing submissions on sentencing from the State and defence teams.

The State has asked for the minimum prescribed sentences for all the accused — life sentences for Najwa and two hit men also convicted of murder, and 15 years for the fourth accused, convicted of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Najwa and the hit men were found guilty last year of murdering her husband, entertainer Taliep Petersen, in the family’s Cape Town home in December 2006.

One of the hit men, Waheed Hassen, said a prayer in the witness box on Wednesday, his eyes closed and hands held out in front of him, before asking members of the Petersen family who were in the public gallery for maaf, the Arabic word for forgiveness.

”I did not have the right to do what I did and break the bond between you,” he told Taliep’s father, Mogamat.

Mogamat said after the hearing that he accepted the apology.

”I’m quite happy with what’s happening,” he said. ”It’s decency at last.”

Said Taliep’s brother, Igsaan: ”Who are we not to pardon when God pardons you?”

Sentencing procedures continue on Thursday. Sentence is expected to be handed down next week. — Sapa

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