Brother denies intention to kill dealer

2010-05-20 00:00

NEWCASTLE murder accused Basheer Randeree denied under cross-examination in the high court yesterday that, before meeting alleged drug dealer Siphiwe Mlotshwa in 2007, he and his brothers armed themselves with a variety of weapons, including two batons and the knife that was used to stab Mlotshwa to death.

Randeree told Judge Achmat Jappie and two assessors that Mlotshwa suddenly produced the knife — described as a “type of chef’s knife” — in their vehicle after they had warned him to stay away from Saeed Randeree, who was addicted to drugs.

Asked by state advocate Sandra Senekal where Mlotshwa could have concealed the knife — which is “long and bulky” with a fixed handle and a broad, sharp, pointed blade — without them noticing it, Randeree said he did not know.

He suggested Mlotshwa may have pushed the handle of the knife into his trousers with the blade facing upwards, but agreed with the judge that, had Mlotshwa done so, he would have risked stabbing himself in the stomach or chest were he to bend down.

“I saw the knife for the first time when I saw the blade between the seats … He pointed it at Saeed and he said: ‘You see what’s gonna happen?’” Randeree said.

Randeree was also asked by Senekal and the court to explain why he and his brothers found it necessary to pick up Mlotshwa in their car and drive away with him, instead of simply telling the dealer immediately when they met him that Saeed was no longer interested in buying drugs.

Randeree disputed evidence by a state witness, Vishnu Chetty, that all three brothers were involved in assaulting Mlotshwa before Yousuf Randeree stabbed him to death.

He said Saeed did not take part in the assault.

The court heard that, after the incident, Saeed Randeree sat “sobbing and wailing” at the roadside and initially did not want to get back into the car with his brothers.

Basheer Randeree said the assault on Mlotshwa by him and Yousuf was precipitated by fear that Mlotshwa was going to injure Saeed.

Mlotshwa had been chasing after Saeed with the knife when Basheer caught up with him, and allegedly swung a baton at him to disarm him.

Randeree told the court he had not actually landed a blow on Mlotshwa.

Randeree said that his brother Yousuf grabbed the blade of the knife and “wrestled” with Mlotshwa for possession of the weapon.

He next saw Yousuf with the knife in his hand sitting on Mlotshwa’s legs and stabbing him once in the neck and “maybe four times” lower down on his body.

Basheer said he could not dispute medical evidence that Mlotshwa sustained some 20 stab wounds — some to his back — but said he did not see his brother inflict that many wounds.

The case is continuing.

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