‘Wake up! Wake up!” This is what Ayoob Ismail pleaded last Saturday with the body of his pregnant wife, Zakiyya Ahmedjan (26), after robbers cut her throat.
The three masked robbers fled the farm in Weenen in KwaZulu-Natal without stealing anything.
Ally Jamaloodeen, 40, Ismail’s cousin, arrived on the farm minutes after Ismail called him with the news of the attack. “I took the couple’s eight-year-old daughter and two-year-old son through a window.”
Jamaloodeen went with Ismail to the bathroom where Zakiyya was. “Ayoob was afraid the attackers were still inside. He didn’t realize then that his (wife) had died. “
Ismail told his cousin to call an ambulance.
“I felt her pulse and realized it was too late,” Jamaloodeen said last week.
Brig. Police spokesperson Jay Naicker said three masked men entered the home at 7 p.m. They threatened the family with a knife and asked for money. The couple was prepared to give them valuable items the robbers asked for, but nothing was stolen in the end.
“They severely assaulted Ayoob and took Zakiyya to the bathroom and the children to a bedroom. Zakiyya was killed in the bathroom. “
One of the men strangled the girl, but she was not seriously injured. They also kicked at the boy. The children receive trauma counseling.
Jamaloodeen says according to Ismail, the family’s seven dogs barked that night. “He opened a window and called the security guard. He went to another window to try and see what the dogs were barking at. ” When he went to a door to see what was going on, the men overpowered him.
Naicker says police in Weenen are investigating a charge of murder. He says an experienced team of detectives is working throughout and believes an arrest will follow soon.
Jamaloodeen says Zakiyya, who was four months pregnant, was very excited about their new baby. Barely two hours before the attack, he was still talking to the couple in a video call. “Ayoob is my cousin, but is like my brother. He and Zakiyya and I did everything together. “
Jamaloodeen says the farm first belonged to his grandfather. The Ismail couple operated a feedlot and abattoir on the farm and have a slaughterhouse in the town.
Chris Pappas, DA MP and spokesperson on agriculture and rural development, says the violence of farm attacks and the vulnerability of the farming and rural communities should be top priority for the government. “But they ignore it and do not care about the tragedies that unfold in our farming and rural communities.”
According to a report released by AfriForum at the beginning of this year, there were 552 farm attacks in 2019 compared to 433 in 2018, an increase of 27%.