Najwa Petersen was 'demonic'

Entertainer Taliep Petersen's daughter has told the Cape high court she found her father covered in blood after he was stabbed by his wife Najwa.

Entertainer Taliep Petersen's daughter has told the Cape high court she found her father covered in blood after he was stabbed by his wife Najwa.

Jawaahier Petersen, Taliep's child from an earlier marriage, was testifying yesterday about an alleged incident, before Taliep's death, in the trial of Najwa and three men the widow allegedly hired to kill Taliep in December 2006.

Jawaahier told the court that on the night of April 13 2006 she was on Mixit in her room at the family's Athlone home when her youngest sister Fatima came in, saying Taliep was calling her.

She went to Taliep and Najwa's bedroom and listened at the door.

"I just heard, 'Najwa, no, Najwa, no'," Jawaahier said.

She opened the door. The lights were off. By the blue light of a television set she could see that the blankets were on the floor, but she could not see Taliep or Najwa.

She asked Taliep where he was. He told her to put on the light but not to "freak out". When she switched on the light, she saw blood on the sheets, the blankets and even on the window blinds.

Najwa was kneeling on the floor, holding a knife pointed back over one shoulder at Taliep, who was standing behind her and gripping her hand.

"They were both covered in blood," Jawaahier said.

Najwa's eyes were droopy and "somewhat demonic", as if she had taken her psychiatric medication.

"She looked like a zombie ... it wasn't her," Jawaahier said. Najwa was also making a throaty sound, as if possessed.

Taliep took the knife from Najwa, gave it to the domestic worker who had come into the bedroom and told her to wash it.

Jawaahier said though she could not see where Taliep was injured, he was holding six or seven dishcloths to his neck, and they became soaked with blood within seconds. His face was pale.

Jawaahier phoned for an ambulance. Taliep and Najwa were taken to the Gatesville medical centre. Taliep was discharged the next day. Najwa was transferred to a psychiatric clinic.

She said Taliep "did not want to make a big deal" and had been concerned about his image as a public figure, and also wanted to protect Najwa from public knowledge about her illness. - Sapa

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