Junkie testifies to ‘hazy’ recollection of his dealer’s alleged murder

2010-05-25 00:00

NEWCASTLE accused Saeed Randeree, on trial alongside his two brothers for the murder of drug dealer Simphiwe Mlotshwa, who supplied him with crack cocaine, testified yesterday that he has a “hazy” memory of events on the day of the alleged murder, March 19, 2007.

He testified that he was on crack for the whole day before the murder, when he first confessed his drug addiction to his family and asked for their help.

Randeree said his addiction led him to steal money from the family business he ran in Ermelo. When he returned to Newcastle at the beginning of 2007, he sold his clothing and some of his wife’s jewellery to buy drugs, for anything between R2 000 and R4 000 per day.

“Every day I said this would be my last ‘hit’, but I could not stop,” he said.

He told Judge Achmat Jappie and two assessors that on the day of the murder he can recall being given a sedative tablet by his brother, Yousuf — presumably to calm him down as he was “restless and anxious” — but little else.

He said he could not recall making a phone call to Mlotshwa, who he knew as “Steven”, to set up an appointment with him that evening, or that he drove his two brothers to meet him. “I can recall seeing his [Mlotshwa’s] face in the car window,” he said.

His next recollection was of sitting on a gravel road while “something was going on”.

Pressed for detail, Randeree replied: “I know something was happening, but I can’t see any pictures in my mind of what that was.”

His brother, Basheer, has told the court that he and Yousuf merely intended to dissuade Mlotshwa from continuing to supply Saeed with drugs. They asked Saeed to call Mlotshwa and set up a meeting.

Basheer Randeree said that while Mlotshwa was in their vehicle, he offered them drugs for sale.

When they threatened to take him to the police, he threw the drugs out of the car window. He produced a large knife, threatened Saeed and chased after him with the weapon, he added.

Basheer Randeree said he gave chase with a baton as he feared his brother was in danger.

He caught up with Mlotshwa who “lunged” at him with the knife. Yousuf arrived and wrestled with Mlotshwa, severely cutting his hand on the knife’s blade in the process, Basheer Randeree said.

He then saw Yousuf stabbing Mlotshwa.

The case is proceeding.

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