Reporter: Vania van der Heever (Die Burger)
Cape Town – Twelve heavily-armed prison guards and police officials filled the court gallery on Wednesday when Najwa Petersen appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court. Petersen, who is serving a 28-year jail sentence at the Worcester prison for the murder of her husband, artist Taliep Petersen, is now facing charges of fraud. Her eldest son, Achmat Gamaldien, was in court to support her on Wednesday. Her court appearance was related to an insurance claim of R67000 that she made after Taliep’s death with the insurance company South African Eagle (also known as Zurich SA).
She allegedly claimed for cellphones, digital cameras, jewellery, watches and money that were stolen during the murder. According to the charge sheet, petersen received R35000 from the insurance company. Magistrate Heather Paulse asked the State prosecutor why there were so many heavily armed officials in her court. “Lieutenant colonel Joe Dryden heard rumours,” answere Charlean Oliver for the State. She did not elaborate. Olivier said the fraud case had been referred to the national prosecuting authority (NPA), which had decided to prosecute Petersen. Reaz Khan, who was appearing for Petersen, said the defence was waiting for more information but was ready for a trial date. The case was postponed to August 25.