Pregnant mom killed in KZN farm attack

File picture: SAPS (Twitter)

File picture: SAPS (Twitter)

Published Jul 6, 2020


Durban - THE KwaZulu-Natal agricultural community has been rocked by the murder

of a pregnant woman at a farm in the

province at the weekend.

Zakiyya Ahmedjan Ismail, 26, had her throat slit in the bathroom of the farmhouse at Ayoob’s Farm in Weenen, Ladysmith, allegedly by robbers, on Saturday night.

She was four months’ pregnant and the mother of two children aged 4 and 8.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said three men entered the house and held up the occupants.

The men, wearing face masks, came in through an unlocked kitchen door.

Gwala said they demanded cash at knifepoint and fought with Zakiyya’s husband, Ayoob Ismail.

It is alleged the robbers took the children into a bedroom while Zakiyya was taken to the bathroom.

“She was found inside the bathroom with her throat slit. She was certified dead at the scene. Nothing was taken from the house,” Gwala said.

Her brother-in-law, Ally Ismail, said the family was in shock.

He said his brother heard the dogs bark.

“When he went to the door to check, he was overpowered by three men. They pushed him inside the house. He fought with them to protect his family.

“They were strangling his daughter. They kicked the 4-year-old while he was running towards his mother,” Ally said.

Ayoob was discharged from hospital yesterday.

His father was Abdul Shakoor Ismail, a well-known philanthropist who died two years ago.

Zakiyya, a former Durban Girls’

Secondary School pupil, was buried at the Weenen Cemetery yesterday.

The Ismail family have a feedlot and an abattoir on the farm.

They also own a butchery and general dealer in the town.

Weenen Farmers’ Association chairperson Shane Reynolds said the incident had taken the community by surprise.

“We condemn the attack in the highest regard. It is sad for our community. The Ismail family were part of the community for many decades.

“Unfortunately, they could not get the alert out fast enough for us to react. Farm attacks have been quiet in Weenen. We have to look at our security planning. The police station was also having problems with Covid-19,” Reynolds said.

According to an AfriForum report on farm attacks and murders in South Africa, 552 farm attacks and 57 murders were reported for the 2019 calendar year. Eight murders and 39 attacks took place in KZN.

In another incident, two men gained entry to a farmhouse in Doesberg in KwaDukuza (Stanger) by kicking the door open yesterday morning.

Gwala said they held up the occupants and demanded cash at gunpoint.

They stole an amplifier, cellphone, lawnmower and cash before fleeing.

KwaDukuza SAPS is investigating a case of house robbery.

Tactical Shooting Team’s Rivaaj Ramdas said another farm attack took place in Bishopstowe, Pietermaritzburg, on Saturday.

He said the farm watch community had reacted within minutes.

Tommie Esterhuyse, chairperson of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety, said the brutal and senseless farm attacks during the past month had deeply affected rural communities.

During June alone there had been 27 attacks on farms and smallholdings - nearly one a day.

“During some of these attacks, victims left with no choice have defended themselves, unfortunately resulting in fatalities among alleged perpetrators,” he said.

Esterhuyse said the country suffered when the agricultural sector suffered and called on the government to consider the value of agriculture when developing policy and policing models to address rural crime effectively.

“A well-implemented Rural Safety Strategy and an accompanying police force which investigates crime effectively and brings suspects to book are now critically important.

“The farming community’s primary responsibility is to produce food. They should not have to conduct patrols to protect themselves and their property. Effectively protecting the country’s citizens is a core responsibility of the police,” Esterhuyse said.

Daily News

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