Taliep shot at point blank range


Cape Town – Forensic and ballistic analysis indicated that the shot fired at entertainer Taliep Petersen was from point blank range, the Cape High Court heard on Tuesday. Free State private forensic pathologist Leon Wagner testified for the defence at the trial of Petersen’s widow Najwa, and the three co-accused charged with Taliep’s murder. Wagner testified on Petersen’s behalf. After Wagner had completed his testimony presiding Judge Siraj Desai said it was unfair for Petersen’s co-accused not to also have the benefit of a privately appointed forensic pathologist, simply because they did not have the financial resources available to Petersen. For this reason, the Judge ordered the legal aid authorities to appoint a private forensic pathologist to represent the three co-accused – at Legal Aid Board expense. Petersen’s one co-accused, Waheed Hassan told the court earlier that he was to have fired the fatal shot at Taliep but that he had at the last minute changed his mind and instead gave the firearm to Petersen herself. Hassan said the gun was wrapped in a cushion to muffle the sounds when Petersen fired the shot at her husband. Wagner told the court that both the ballistic and forensic analysis confirmed that no cushion was used in the shooting at all. He said soot marks were found on the neck wound, which would not have been there had the firearm been muffled by a cushion. He added: “It is my expert opinion that no cushion was used in the shooting.” He used a large magnifying glass to examine forensic photographs of the murder scene as well as photographs of the gunshot wound in the deceased’s neck. At one stage of the hearing, when the Judge borrowed Wagners magnifying glass, Wagner said: “It’s an old Sherlock Holmes method – it worked then and it works just as well today.” The case continues.

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