Murder accused ‘close’ to victim

2010-02-24 00:00

THE father of murder accused Mohamed Shuaib Sathar testified yesterday that Estcourt murder victim Safia Mahomed Aslam (19) and his son had enjoyed a “very close” relationship.

Shuaib Sathar has pleaded not guilty to the charge before Judge Atkins Moleko and two assessors. Sathar was also 19 years old at the time of the murder, which took place on Thursday, September 15, 2005.

The state alleges that Aslam was killed by being struck repeatedly on her head with a dumbbell, stabbed multiple times with a breadknife and had her throat cut.

The accused’s father, Asgur Sathar, testified yesterday that the two second cousins had spent a lot of time together and that Safia Aslam used to visit his son at home on many occasions.

“They used to sit together, spend a lot of time together … listen to music,” Sathar said.

He produced a video cassette recording, allegedly filmed by CCTV camera equipment in his shops, to show that his son had been in one of his stores during the morning when Aslam was allegedly murdered.

The footage, which Asgur Sathar said he handed over to his attorney soon after his son’s arrest, was the subject of a debate earlier in the trial when state advocate Dorian Paver urged the defence to produce it, but they declined.

At the time the court was involved in a trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of statements made by Sathar while he did a pointing out at the murder scene as well as the area where police recovered the alleged murder weapon.

Judge Moleko later ruled that all the evidence — including a pair of blood-stained shoes allegedly worn by Sathar and recovered at his parents home — is admissible in the trial.

Asgur Sathar, who was the first witness to testify at the start of the defence case yesterday, told the court that on the weekend prior to the murder his son had stayed with Safia and her husband, Mohammed, for three nights and returned home on the Monday morning.

On the day of the murder, he said he was at work when his wife Sarah called at about 9 am to tell him that his son was refusing to go for his driving lesson with an instructor and that his son had torn up his learner’s licence. “I was very upset about that,” Sathar said.

He testified that he had numerous angry encounters with his son on the day of the murder.





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