Najwa in court for fraud

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).

Insurance payout

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.

Man ‘showed police where to find body’

Cape Argus

Reporter: Fouzia van der Fort

A Chinese man’s lawyer argued in court that his client should be given bail because he had helped police with the investigation into the murder of the son of an alleged member of a Taiwanese triad. Zhang Haoxuan’s attorney Joshua Greeff, presenting his closing argument during his bail application in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court yesterday, said Zhang had told police where to find the body of Wending Jason Zhu and where he had been murdered. “The evidence the State has was volunteered by my client… why would he do that?” asked Greeff. During previous appearances the court heard that Zhang had implicated himself in the murder. Zhang and his co-accused Li Zhen Cheng, 37, have been in custody since their arrest on March 29. The State is opposing bail as the two may be flight risks. Zhang’s girlfriend Gui Mei Tang, 30, was released on R5000 bail on May 13, while charges were dropped against Jingbin Qui, 31, on August 5. The three face charges of murder, kidnapping and extortion. Greeff and Zhang had similar circumstances to Gui and should be released on bail. They are accused of killing Wending and demanding a ransom of R2.5 million. It is alleged he was suffocated in a brothel in Rondebosch East. Wending’s father, Maple Zhu, owns a legal abalone farm in Hermanus and was called hours after his son’s disappearance. Zhang had driven with police to Riversdale close to Mossel Bay where they found Wending’s decomposing body in a shallow grave 10 days after he disappeared on March 18. Li’s attorney Andre Kirsten also took the State to task for not having a strong case against the accused. He said there was no reason to oppose bail. State prosecutor Goodman Jaxa still has to present closing arguments. Magistrate Jasthree Steyn remanded the accused, told all parties to be ready for judgment and postponed the case to Tuesday.