Zahir Bobat Picture: Supplied
Durban - Determined to prove that his son had not committed suicide, a Phoenix father conducted his own investigation which led to the arrest and prosecution of three men.

Sayed Bobat, 54, gathered information that allegedly implicated his 30-year-old son Zahir’s three friends.

Speaking to the Daily News outside the Durban High Court this week about the trauma of losing his son, Bobat said he was told his son had committed suicide, but he had felt all the signs that Zahir had been murdered were there.

The murder trial of Shalen Naidu, 20, John Jordache Naidoo, 24, and Brenton Moodley, 27, was expected to resume on Monday, but was adjourned until Wednesday to allow Moodley to be allocated a Legal Aid lawyer.

The three men are out on bail and have pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The court was packed with relatives and members of the community supporting the Bobat family.

Moodley had requested the assistance of a Legal Aid lawyer when the matter was adjourned in March this year.

Zahir was found hanging from a tree at a park close to his home on March 30, last year.

Bobat, of Grove-End in Phoenix, spoke of the family’s trauma when they found Zahir’s body.

“As a result we all try to avoid going to the backyard where we can see the tree he was hanging from. I am constantly reminded of the terrible thing that was done to my son.

“My wife does not go out to our backyard any more. Some days are extremely hard and painful and on other days I force myself to look at my son’s murder scene,” said the emotional father.

When Zahir’s body was found, police were not convinced he was murdered. A post-mortem determined the cause of death as being compatible with the application of a ligature around the neck, but Bobat was still not convinced.


After several attempts to convince the police his son was murdered, and when he presented evidence he had collected himself, the police arrested Naidu, Moodley and Naidoo and charged them with murder.

A fourth man, who was allegedly with the three men on the day of the incident and had turned State witness, had told the police Zahir was assaulted before he was put on the tree.

“I always knew that my son did not commit suicide. A big part of me did not want to believe it and I am glad that I trusted my gut.

“I am so emotional right now, and my heart will not rest until I have the answers,” said Bobat.

According to the indictment, some time before the incident Naidu, Moodley and Naidoo followed Zahir and argued over airtime.

It is alleged they followed him to a nearby sports ground where they accosted him and assaulted him with their hands, and then kicked him until he was unconscious.

The State further alleges that at some stage during the assault, Zahir’s hands were tied with a rope.

He was apparently carried to a nearby park where they used a rope and curtain blinds to suspend him from a tree to make it appear as if he had committed suicide, before they left the scene.

State advocate Krishen Shah alleged that at all material times Naidu, Moodley and Naidoo acted in concert and with a common purpose to kill Zahir.

Daily News