Taliep Petersen’s family ‘blindsided’ by killer’s release
Cape Town – The family of late Cape musician Taliep Petersen said they were blindsided by the news of the parole release of his murderer, Abdoer Raasiet Emjedi, last month, and are demanding answers.
The Department of Correctional Service (DCS) confirmed that Emjedi was freed on parole on November 11, after serving 11 years of a 24-year sentence.
Taliep, 56, was shot dead in his Athlone home on December 16, 2006, in a robbery that turned out to be a hit orchestrated by his wife, Najwa Dirk, 59.
Dirk and Emjedi, who recruited hit man Waheed Hassen, were found guilty of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
In a statement, Petersen’s family said the “feeling of grief and loss resurfaced” when they learnt of Emjedi’s release via social media.
“Due to the media frenzy surrounding the high-profile court case, we as a family chose to privately address our grievances through the proper channels.
“We had numerous phone calls and email correspondence with the regional head of Corrections, the area commissioner and a senior advocate, among others.
“After an initial positive engagement, the aforementioned proverbially disappeared.
“Despite follow-up emails and desperate attempts to engage anyone with a level of accountability – nothing. Even after we were requested to furnish the department with the details of the case,” the statement read.
The family said they have decided to go public with their response to the release following a public outcry for answers.
“Why were we as the family not notified of this decision and given the option to engage in a mediated dialogue with him, as was the case with co-accused Jefferson Snyders five years ago and Hassen in February this year, though the latter we denied?
“We want answers. We need answers.
“We would like to believe that this parole decision was not another public failure by the justice system, but without the information, we are inclined to draw our own conclusions,” the family said.
Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said inmates in South Africa are eligible for parole consideration after serving the minimum detention period under incarceration.
“Emjedi was sentenced to 24 years on February 11, 2009, for murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. He then received six months’ amnesty in 2012, effectively reducing his sentence by six months.
’’This means he was considered for parole placement after having served the minimum detention period.
“Emjedi’s parole placement was effective from November 11, 2020.
“It has to be noted that parole does not reduce the sentence imposed by the courts. It only affects the way in which a sentence is served.
“Over the past 26 years, the prison system has transformed from a punitive system into a rehabilitative system, with the aim to correct offending behaviour prior to placement back into communities,” said Nxumalo.