In an agony of remorse, one of the men arrested for Taliep Petersen's murder painstakingly wrote out a 15-page confession detailing his role in the murder.
But it was Taliep's wife Najwa who, after giving her husband a last embrace, actually pulled the trigger, Waheed Hassen said.
The confession was admitted as evidence in the Cape high court yesterday after Hassen dramatically announced that he wanted to change his plea to guilty.
Hassen, his friend Jefferson Snyders, Abdoer Emjedi and Najwa all originally pleaded not guilty to the execution-style shooting, which took place in the Petersens' home on the night of December 16 2006.
He wrote out the confession in the police cells after his arrest.
In a language that at times seemed borrowed from a crime thriller, he described how Fahiem Hendricks, a friend of Emjedi's, told him a woman friend of his was suffering mental and physical abuse at the hands of her husband and wanted him killed.
After being promised "maybe a million or more", with R150000 "up front" from the woman, he agreed.
He enlisted Snyders for what he told his friend was going to be a robbery staged for an insurance claim.
He borrowed a gun and on the night - still not knowing who the woman or the target was- they went to the Petersens' Athlone home.
At the last minute, Hassen said, he decided he could not go through with the murder of a man he did not know. - Sapa