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Najwa fit to stand trial

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Najwa fit to stand trial

by Staff Reporter
20 Aug 2007
The Athlone Website
The Athlone Website

A local Cape Town magistrate has ruled on Friday that Najwa Petersen is fit to stand trial in the case of murdered entertainer, Taliep Petersen. This clears the way for her and three co-accused to appear in the Cape High Court in February 2008.

Najwa Petersen, wife of the murdered entertainer Taliep Petersen, and three accomplices, Abdoer Emjedi, Jefferson Snyders and Waheed Hassen, stand accused of shooting the prominent theatre entertainer in the couple's home in Athlone in December 2006.

During the bail application, evidence surfaced that suggested she had repeatedly attempted suicide and had undergone a course of shock therapy in last year.

Magistrate Robert Henney then referred her for 30 days observation at the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital in Cape Town.

Two specialist psychiatrists from Valkenberg Hospital, as well as a third specialist appointed in Najwa's defence agreed unanimously that Petersen was mentally fit to stand trial and could be held criminally accountable for her actions. They had found that there were no reasons by mental illnesses or defects, that rendered her incapable of understanding court proceedings, or incapable of mounting a proper defence.

The case was postponed until 20 September for further investation.

In the meantime, Henney ordered that Petersen be held in the hospital section of the women's prison at Pollsmoor.

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