Addict’s brothers killed dealer

2010-05-19 00:00

NEWCASTLE murder accused Basheer Randeree described yesterday how a plan to dissuade an alleged drug dealer from continuing to supply his addict brother with cocaine in 2007 went wrong, resulting in the man being beaten and stabbed to death.

Randeree (who was 19 at the time) and his two older brothers — Saeed and Yousuf — have pleaded not guilty before Judge Achmat Jappie and two assessors to the murder of Siphiwe Mlotshwa on March 19, 2007, in Newcastle.

Basheer Randeree testified that his family learnt of his brother’s addiction to crack cocaine the day before, and immediately set about getting him into rehabilitation.

On March 19, he and Yousuf questioned Saeed about numerous missed calls to his cellphone, and Saeed said they were from the man who sold drugs to him.

They decided to talk to the man to persuade him to leave Saeed alone, and arranged to meet him on a pretext of wanting to buy drugs.

They picked up Mlotshwa by car and while driving around Mlotshwa offered to sell them drugs. They told him they did not want drugs and warned him to “stay away” from Saeed.

He said he wouldn’t as Saeed was his “big customer”. He produced a knife and pointed it at Saeed saying: “You see what’s gonna happen?”

Randeree said Saeed stopped the car and got out. Basheer grabbed a baton that was kept in the car and swung it at Mlotshwa, but missed.

By then Saeed had alighted and was running away with Mlotshwa chasing him.

Basheer Randeree said he pursued the two men and saw Mlotshwa fall.

“I was shouting at the deceased to stay away from my brother … the deceased swung around with his hand holding the knife and he tried to lunge at me.”

Randeree said he struck at Mlotshwa with the baton in a bid to disarm him. At that point Yousuf arrived and began to “wrestle” with Mlotshwa. “[Yousuf] grabbed on to the blade of the knife … They wrestled on to the floor. I started to see blood,” said Randeree.

He said he was “very scared”, and tried to hit Mlotshwa, but was afraid of striking his brother instead as the men were “rolling around”.

He noticed Saeed talking to an Indian male who had arrived, and when he looked back he saw his brother Yousuf stabbing Mlotshwa.

“I was very scared … I was taken aback. I was shaking and short of breath … I was very, very shocked,” he testified.

Basheer Randeree said that because he was “ shocked and confused”, he initially told a “stupid lie” that they had offered Mlotshwa a lift and that Mlotshwa had produced a knife.

Randeree added that he had not wanted to shame his family by mentioning drugs.

The case is proceeding.

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