The family of slain music icon Taliep Petersen have broken their silence on the unexpected release of one of the convicted murderers Abdoer-Rasiet Emjedi last month, saying they were “blindsided” by the news. Emjedi was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment, however, was placed on parole last month after having served 11 years behind bars. In a statement to the media today, the family said after several calls to correctional services officials and desperate attempts to engage the department on the decision, there has been no accountability.
“Initially the department of correctional services and department of justice were very engaging for about 24 hours and thereafter preferably disappeared and we have no had any contact from them over the last two weeks despite endless emails being sent,” stated Jawaahier Petersen on the VOC Breakfast show on Wednesday morning.
However, according to TimesLive, The correctional services department said the decision to grant parole to Emjedi is receiving “attention”.
Correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said Emjedi received a six-month amnesty in 2012, which effectively reduced his sentence by six months.
“He was considered for parole placement by the correctional services parole board after having served the minimum detention period. Emjedi’s parole placement was effective from November 11 2020, and this was granted by the parole board,” said Nxumalo.
He said the decision to grant Emjedi parole was, however, being considered. “The parole placement is receiving attention from the department,” he continued.
Petersen said Emjedi being released without the family being notified has come as a complete shock.
“Our humble request is to understand why this individual was placed on parole after only serving 11 years of his 24-year sentence? Why were we as the family not notified of this decision and given the option to engage in a mediated dialogue with him,” read the Petersen family’s statement.
“To many, it would appear that enough jail time has passed and 14 years is an ample grief period but to us who were left and are still left to pick up the pieces of our lives shattered by these criminals, it is not enough. We want answers.”
Petersen said the family hopes media pressure on the DOJ which in turn allows a way forward for the family with the appropriate information and creates an open dialogue between relative parties.
“Our grief and our sense of trauma and loss has just resurfaced thanks to the ineptness displayed by the justice system,” added Petersen.