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Cape Town - The brother of slain musician Taliep Petersen has labelled the icon’s jailed widow Najwa a liar and a hypocrite, charging that she orchestrated the murder of her husband so she could access the proceeds of his multimillion rand life policy, meant for their only daughter.
Igsaan Petersen made the comments in an affidavit filed at the Western Cape High Court this week, in response to an application by Najwa Petersen’s son, Sulaiman Effendi, lodged at the same court last year.
In that application, which was not opposed and later granted, Effendi wanted the court to appoint a curator to investigate the circumstances of the payment of the proceeds of the Liberty Life policy to the Blue Bird Trust, founded by Igsaan, who is also a trustee.
The other trus-tees are accountant Suleiman September and a company called Iprotect Trustees.
Effendi said in the application he was concerned about certain clauses in the deed of trust.
The curator, advocate Fred Sievers, filed a report this year in which he stated that it was clear the situation could not continue because the two families would “never be able to work together in administering a trust”.
He recommended that the proceeds be paid into the Guardian’s Fund. Sievers said in his report that Najwa advised him that, while she wasn’t opposed to the concept of a trust, she was concerned about the secrecy around its establishment, the lack of transparency in its dealings and her lack of input into the selection of the trustees.
Najwa is serving a 28-year jail term at a facility in Worcester.
This week Igsaan hit back, saying that he filed the affidavit to clarify “inaccuracies” Najwa made in the initial application, and in her consultation with Sievers. In addition, it was intended to “assert the strongest disagreement with the proposal by the curator ad litem that the safest means for the preservation of the trust proceeds is for their payment into the Guardian’s Fund”, and to provide practical alternatives.
Igsaan said he couldn’t overlook the “lies and hypocrisy” underpinning the comments Najwa made to Sievers.
About nine months after his brother was killed, he said, Liberty Life received a claim signed by Najwa requesting that the proceeds of her husband’s policy be paid into a bank account, in her name, in Oshakati, Namibia.
“Najwa’s actions are clear demonstrations to me that Taliep’s murder was orchestrated by her with a view to ultimately obtain payment of the Liberty Life proceed, and to utilise the proceeds thereof for her own benefit in Namibia.”
He also suggested it smacked of “hypocrisy” that Effendi - or in reality, Najwa - took issue with her exclusion from the trust to administer the Liberty Life proceeds, considering she herself formed the Zaynab Petersen Trust, named for her daughter, without the knowledge of any of Taliep’s immediate family.
The trust was formed with the sole aim of preserving and increasing its capital investment of the policy in Zaynab’s interests. Zaynab was not consulted because she is too young.
Effendi said no one ever questioned the good intentions of the trust. He and his family were, rather, concerned that neither Zaynab nor Najwa’s side of the family were informed.
In his affidavit, Igsaan said the trustees had always exercised “the utmost good faith”, “proper care and diligence” in making investments on behalf of the trust.
He disagreed that the two families would never be in a position to administer a trust on Zaynab’s behalf.
Igsaan was also concerned that, should the funds be paid into the Guardian’s Fund, Zaynab would have access to it when she turned 18. He doubted that she would have the emotional and financial intelligence at that age to manage such a large sum of money.