Najwa's son to testify against her in Taliep case

Date: 02 Jul 2007
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. By Kim Hawkey, Kashiefa Ajam & Lauren Kansley The Saturday Star 02/07/07e1