Cape Town - Mourners gathered with heavy hearts as they laid to rest Zuraya Barden, who was ruthlessly gunned down on Friday morning.
The 61-year-old mother and grandmother was shot and fatally wounded in her car at about 7.15am in Kunene Road, Primrose Park, Manenberg.
Barden’s funeral prayers took place according to Islamic rites at her residence at Surran Road, Newfields, and her burial at the Pooke Road Muslim Cemetery, on Saturday.
Undertaker Imam Fasiegh Adams said: “It was sad indeed. She was a woman who had a great sense of humour; a loving mother and daughter, and was well loved by all who crossed her path.”
According to several reports, Barden was a witness in a criminal case.
The shooting took place just metres from Primrose Park Primary School, where Barden worked as the school’s secretary.
The school could not be reached for comment; however, it took to Facebook on Saturday to pay tribute to Barden.
“It is with sad hearts that we bid farewell to our secretary, Zuraya Barden, who lost her life so tragically yesterday (on Friday) morning. A larger than life personality who will be sorely missed by the entire Primrose Park Community.”
Agri SA executive director Christo van der Rheede met Barden when he was appointed as principal of Silversands Primary School in 1998, where Barden worked as the school’s secretary.
Van der Rheede recommended that Barden be appointed as the school’s financial administrator, after which the school’s financial position improved, enabling the school to purchase computers and develop ballet, music and sports facilities.
“I salute the late Ms Barden for her role in assisting the school community in improving the quality of education and exposing our children to a world of music, ballet, sports and technology that was unknown to them before.
Her brutal death is a sad reflection of a society that is in serious turmoil. Her legacy, however, speaks volumes of her commitment to empower our children with skills, knowledge and values to help create a better world for all.”
Police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk said a murder case was still under investigation. Yesterday, police spokesperson Wesley Twigg said there were no new developments in the case, and no arrests had been made.
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said: “The WCED is shocked and saddened by this tragic and violent murder. Unfortunately, other learners, including a family member, were exposed to the incident. The WCED has provided counselling for staff and learners at the school.”
Anti-crime activist Hanif Loonat said: “We cannot lose parents and grandparents to these unscrupulous and immoral individuals who go about their killings as if they are playing games. As long as we have an ineffective and corrupt criminal justice system, we face a daunting future.”
Anyone with any information about the incident is requested to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.