Najwa’s son to testify against her in Taliep case — (Security.co.za)

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Security.co.za

Date: 02 Jul 2007

By Kim Hawkey, Kashiefa Ajam & Lauren Kansley The Saturday Star

Taliep Petersen’s stepson is to testify against his own mother when she stands trial for the music legend’s murder. And, Najwa Petersen, Petersen’s second wife – the prime suspect in the murder – is one of two beneficiaries (along their 8-year-old daughter Zainub) of his R6-million life insurance policy. Petersen (56) took out the policy six months before he was found murdered in his upmarket Athlone, Cape Town, house.
In a third revelation yesterday, it emerged that Najwa’s co-accused Abdoer Raasiet Emjedi (41), Waheed Hassen (34) and Jefferson Tion Snyders (30), who were arrested last Monday after a “secret witness” came forward, are all employed by Dirk Fruit, the Namibian import and export company owned by Najwa’s family. The witness claimed Najwa (45) paid R150 000 to have Petersen murdered, giving each of her co-accused R50 000. Achmat Gamieldien (26), Najwa’s son from a previous marriage, was summoned by police this week from Namibia. After being questioned for four days, he gave a second statement on Thursday. The four accused have indicated that they would apply for bail in the Wynberg Regional Court on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Petersen’s first wife, Madeegha Anders, said she thanked God the day she heard Najwa had been arrested. She said Taliep’s death was the second time he was taken from her – she and Najwa had been best friends since school. “To think my best friend stole my husband. And now she’s accused of killing him.” Petersen, she said, had been her childhood sweetheart. The couple had four children, but after their break-up, they rarely spoke. Anders claimed their relationship had improved recently and Petersen was on the verge of buying her a house. Najwa’s family, however, have hit back. Faiza Rylands, her aunt, claimed Najwa’s family had financially supported Petersen, Anders and their children. “Najwa paid Madeegha R7 700 every month, even after Taliep passed away and until she was arrested.”
Taliep also benefited finan- cially, she said. Najwa’s uncle, Rylands’ brother, had “lent Taliep R800 000 for a show, which he had never paid back”. Taliep also “hadn’t owned a car of his own, but used Najwa’s sports Merc or Jeep and never put petrol in”. Rylands claimed the house the Petersens had lived in belonged to either Najwa or her family, and Petersen “didn’t even pay water and lights”. She said Najwa got her money from working at Dirk Fruit, where she is understood to be a director. Rylands added that Taliep had turned Najwa into “a nervous wreck”. “Each and every home has a problem … Why did they get sick from nerves?” saying both wives had been admitted to clinics “to relax”.
It emerged in Najwa’s first court appearance that she had been diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder and had been admitted to psychiatric clinics several times. Rylands said: “[Najwa] is a very sick girl – not an actor.” She thought the reason for their nervous conditions was Petersen’s philandering. “He had two girlfriends – a white one and a coloured one. “Najwa was a lady. She was a kind-hearted girl who loves to give. She was such a good wife … I don’t know if she did it. God alone knows.” All four accused appeared in the Wynberg Regional Court on Tuesday and were expected to apply for bail, but the application was postponed to this Tuesday because of court backlogs.

 

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I was framed, says Najwa Petersen — The Mail and Guardian (Africa)

Najwa Petersen says she was framed for the murder of her husband, internationally renowned entertainer Taliep Petersen, and that they had been planning to go on an overseas holiday together.

She made the claims in an affidavit handed in to Cape Town’s Wynberg Regional Court on Thursday as part of her second bail application, launched on the basis of what her legal team says are “at least” ten new factors.

One of them is the reported existence of a pirated copy of a police tape that is said to show investigators violated the constitutional rights of some of her co-accused when they were interrogated.

In her affidavit, Petersen said her legal team was given partial access to the police docket last month, after her first bail application was rejected by both the regional and high courts.

“In view of the availability now of a partial police docket, the strength of the state case will be re-addressed,” she said. “I am not guilty in this matter and I am being framed.”

Petersen has been implicated in the killing in statements by two of her co-accused, Jefferson Snyders and Waheed Hassen, who claimed he held a pillow over Taliep’s head while Petersen fired the fatal shot on the night of December 16 last year.

In her affidavit, Petersen asked why, if the people who shot her husband were “so keen to collaborate with the police”, the police had not produced the weapon, and why it was not checked for her fingerprints.

She also said Taliep gave her her medication—she suffers from a range of psychiatric illnesses—on the night of the killing.

There was “no way” she could have got past him where he was watching television to open a security gate for the killers, she said.

“There is no way I would risk it down those steps—in any case as the medication makes me drowsy.”

And later in the affidavit, she said: “I had a good relationship with my husband and we were planning to go overseas together in January 2007 to London, Paris, Italy and Malaysia.”

Petersen’s advocate, Herbert Raubenheimer, told the court that despite correspondence and requests, the defence had been denied access to recordings of police interviews of her co-accused, which it needed to present a full case in the bail application.

He said if the men who implicated Petersen were made promises or threatened, “then surely we must be allowed to listen to that”.

Waleed Ajouhaar, a friend of Petersen’s late father Suleiman Dirk, told the court that in July this year Dirk told him he had received a phone call from a man who said he had information on tape regarding his daughter’s innocence.

He contacted the man, Riaan Radyn, who said he was a former policeman who was now a private investigator.

Radyn told Adjouhaar he had a friend named John McKay who did part-time sound engineering work for the police.

One of the tapes the police had asked to be “fixed up” contained the interrogation of Hassen and Snyders, and McKay had made copies.

“He [Radyn] asked me if I would be interested in buying the tapes,” Ajouhaar said.

Ajouhaar’s testimony was interrupted by a state objection to a transcript of SMS messages to and from Radyn off Ajouhaar’s cellphone.

The defence last week obtained a search-and-seizure order from a Cape High Court judge against Radyn.

The independent attorney appointed to supervise the search, Gideon van Zyl, told the regional court earlier on Thursday that when he accompanied the sheriff to Radyn’s home, Radyn said he knew of the recordings.

Van Zyl said Radyn told him he had sold one cassette to Ajouhaar for R2 000 and had passed the money on to McKay, who he knew as John van der Berg.

Radyn said he was told the tapes contained “incriminating stuff”, which Van Zyl understood to mean the police had used “unconstitutional methods” in interrogations.

However, prosecutor Shireen Riley told the court there were no tapes of interviews, only an audiovisual recording of formal statements Hassen and Snyders made.

The application continues on Monday.—Sapa