Cape Town - Moments before she passed away, a woman who was set alight - allegedly by a merchant who had accused her of stealing drugs - sat upright in her hospital bed and said the words, “It wasn’t me.”
Mother of four, Mishkaah Fakier, died of severe burn wounds in Victoria Hospital in Wynberg on Tuesday just before 8pm.
The 44-year-old from Hout Bay had been doused with petrol and torched on Tuesday at 5am in Hangberg.
Her family admits that she was a drug addict and feared her “risky lifestyle” would lead to her death.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Daily Voice visited the badly burnt woman in hospital after she managed to escape her attacker.
Lying covered in bandages and on life support, Mishkaah was barely able to move because of her injuries.
A witness told the family that Mishkaah had been beaten and made to clean up her own blood before she was doused with petrol and set alight.
A man in his forties handed himself over to police that same day.
By 3pm on Tuesday, doctors advised the family to switch off her life support because there was nothing more they could do for her.
Her sister, Melanie Titus, 39, says Mishkaah still clung to life after the machines were turned off.
“Even after the machines were off, she was still breathing. We think she wanted to tell us something, hence her holding on despite the 60% burn damage and suffering,” she says.
“Her family were at her bedside and at 7.45pm, she rose to an upright position in her hospital bed and said, ‘It wasn’t me’.
“This was her last attempt in helping us find out the truth that she didn’t steal the drugs.”
Melanie says Mishkaah’s children are struggling to accept their mother’s death.
“Her two daughters and two sons are really sad about her death and all that has happened to their mother,” she says.
“We are currently busy with her funeral arrangements and are visiting all our family members to help financially.”
On Wednesday, cops said an attempted murder case opened at Hout Bay SAPS had been changed to a murder charge.
Police spokesperson, Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, says: “A man in his forties handed himself over to the police in connection with the incident and is due to make a court appearance at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court to face a murder charge [on Thursday].