Johannesburg - She knelt down to perform her daily ritual of Salaah. And as Shameema Mohammed Shamoon prayed softly, her husband allegedly shot her from behind at close range with a bow and arrow.
But it didn’t end there.
He allegedly pulled the bloody arrow out of his wife’s back, reloaded his bow, and shot her again – twice. As his wife lay in a pool of blood, the 40-year-old man then allegedly went after his nephew, who lived with the couple, aiming to shoot him as well.
But the youngster was lucky to escape with minor injuries.
“I’ve killed her. I’ve killed her,” the husband allegedly shouted as he walked out of his flat at Seramar Court in Benoni on the East Rand.
He allegedly called Shamoon’s mother informing her that her daughter “had gone to Jannah (heaven)”.
Local police arrived at apartment 203 shortly after the murder and arrested the man.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale confirmed that the incident had taken place around 8pm on Wednesday.
“When police arrived, they found the 39-year-old woman lying in a pool of blood. She was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics,” Mogale said.
She added that the woman had sustained fatal wounds in the upper body.
The man is expected to appear in the Benoni Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on a murder charge.
Moulana Ebrahim Bham of the Council of Muslim Theologians said on Friday that the community was shocked by the killing.
“Currently, we are unaware of the circumstances behind the murder. We have little information as to what had led to (it). We hope it will be revealed in court next week.”
Bham understood the alleged killer was a white man who converted to Islam recently. “He used to come to the mosque quite often but that’s all I know about him.”
When the Saturday Star visited the apartment where Shamoon was murdered, family members refused to speak.
Meanwhile, a man known only as Atta told the Saturday Star that on the day of the incident Shamoon’s husband had shouted and sworn at people in the street below from the balcony of his flat.
He had then knocked at their flat, allegedly telling Atta’s mother that he had “killed his wife and it was the end of the world”.
Atta said his mother said the man had looked “possessed, as if he was on some kind of medication”.
He had then returned to the balcony carrying his bow and arrow and had aimed the weapon at Atta’s brother, threatening to shoot him. “I was in the bathroom. That’s when I opened the door and asked him to stop harassing my family,” he said.
Atta, who does not live at the flat but visits his mother occasionally, said after he arrived home at 9pm he received a call from his sister informing him that Shamoon was dead.
Nyameka Futshane, 39, who stays three doors away from the couple’s flat, said she was shocked by her neighbour’s horrific death. “I can’t believe it, to be honest,” said Futshane. “I have known the couple for two years and they seemed like nice people.”
Futshane was particularly fond of Shamoon. “She went out of her way to help my daughter with her Afrikaans homework. She was one of the nicest ladies I’ve met.”
Futshane, who was sleeping at the time of the incident, said she often bumped into Shamoon’s husband in the hallway.
“Whenever I left early in the mornings to go to the clinic for a check-up I bumped into him as he came back from working a late shift. He would always smile and greet me and we would have a little chat.
“It’s hard to believe that this has happened,” added Futshane.
A 16-year-old, who may not be named, said she was home alone at the time of the murder but did not hear anything. But when police arrived she saw the man handcuffed and led downstairs to a police van.
“He was quiet the whole time. But when he got inside the van he began shouting and grunting like an animal,” said the teenager.
The girl recalled how Shamoon had always encouraged her to study hard.
“She was very lovely. Once I told her that I don’t like Afrikaans. She said, ‘It’s just a language. You have to do it.’” - Saturday Star