A fire and explosion expert said this week during the Judicial Inquiry (GDE) after the death of Suraya Deedat and her four children were found in a suspicious position when the family members’ bodies were found.
According to Danny Joubert, Suraya was lying on her back in a position indicating that she was on her knees and fell backward. All four children were on their backs in the middle of the living room floor.
Joubert testified in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court this week that this is not the typical position of people who tried to escape from a fire because they were not close to any exit points. He also testified that in his entire career, he had never seen a mother’s body not to be found above that of her children in an effort to protect them from the fire.
Suraya and her children burned to death in their home in Ormonde, Johannesburg, in July 2011. Naeem Deedat, Suraya’s husband, was the only survivor. He managed to escape through the bathroom window. No one has yet been held liable for their death.
According to Joubert, Naeem’s version is highly unlikely that the fire changed from a controlled fire to an uncontrolled flame within seconds, unless a fire accelerator was used.
“It is important for AfriForum to become involved in cases like this, as we cannot allow selective prosecution to become the norm in the South African criminal justice system. This family deserves justice for what happened to Suraya and her children. If the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) does not want to act in the interests of justice in this case, it is in the interest of every dear person in the country that AfriForum does, ”says Andrew Leask, chief investigator at AfriForum’s private prosecution unit.
The case will continue on April 16.