Accused claims amnesia

2010-05-26 00:00

NEWCASTLE murder accused Yousuf Randeree testified yesterday that he has no recollection of stabbing alleged drug dealer Simphiwe Mlotshwa to death on March 19 2007, but had heard from witnesses that he did stab him.

Randeree told Judge Achmat Jappie and two assessors that his last recollection was of his brother, Basheer, armed with a baton and “fighting” with Mlotshwa, who had a knife. He pushed Basheer out of the way and “grabbed” at the knife in a bid to protect his brother, he said.

He recalled that his other brother, Saeed, who was a drug addict, was “on his hands and knees”, but he did not focus on him, he said.

Randeree said his next memory is of being in hospital, where he underwent surgery for a deep wound to his right hand. He was hospitalised for six days.

Asked why he has no memory of the stabbing itself and the immediate aftermath (when he allegedly told a policewoman that they were victims of a hijacking), Randeree said he did not know and that “maybe you should ask the doctors that”.

The defence and prosecution are both set to call a number of psychiatric and other experts in the case.

Randeree denied under cross-examination by state advocate Sandra Senekal that he and Basheer had decided to “punish” Mlotshwa for supplying drugs to Saeed.

He said they only intended to talk to Mlotshwa and “warn him off”.

Through Saeed, they set up a meeting and after Mlotshwa got into their car he offered to sell them crack cocaine. When they threatened to take Mlotshwa to the police, he threw the drugs out of the window and Randeree said he then saw he had a knife.

Randeree admitted that he may have been “slightly angry” at Mlotshwa after finding out that he supplied his brother with crack, but said his main feeling was “concern and worry” for Saeed.

He told the court that for some time prior to the incident, Saeed’s behaviour had changed, and his wife reported bizarre behaviour.

The shop he was running in Ermelo was also not performing well and at the request of the family he returned to Newcastle. Randeree said he had tried to talk to Saeed about what was happening to him, but he would become angry.

On March 18, 2007, Randeree’s mother telephoned him and asked him to accompany her to Saeed’s home. There they found Saeed’s wife in tears. She showed them an SMS message from Saeed stating that he was addicted to crack and wanted help. That night the family held a meeting to discuss Saeed’s drug problem and how to help him.

The next morning Randeree found Saeed “scratching” in his room for leftover pieces of drugs. “That was when it struck me that he was a serious addict … I don’t think he could control himself,” he said.

Randeree said that when they realised several missed calls on Saeed’s phone were from his drug dealer, he and Basheer decided the best option would be to warn him to stay away from Saeed.

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