Ahmed Seedat, 36, who was born in Durban and lived in Ladysmith, was arrested last week over the murder of his British wife, Fahima Yusuf, 32.
He appeared in the Perth Magistrate’s Court last Wednesday and was denied bail.
It is understood Seedat’s family lived in Ladysmith and moved to Australia when he was young. He completed his schooling and tertiary education in Australia.
Seedat reportedly worked at an Australian accounting firm.
Yusuf was from Bolton in the UK.
A Ladysmith community leader, who did not want to be named, said the family visited South Africa every three or four years to see their relatives.
He said only one of Seedat’s uncles, his father’s brother, still lived in Ladysmith. The community leader said he could not remember the accused as he was young when the family emigrated to Australia.
“However, I remember the father and he was well-respected in the community. Even if you didn’t know the family that well, this type of news always comes as a shock to any community.”
Businessman Ashraf Seedat said he was not related to the family but knew of them.
“Ahmed’s father was known to be a very quiet, humble man, so it is shocking to hear that something like this happened in their family,” said Ashraf.
According to the Australian news agency Perth Now, police discovered Yusuf’s body after her father reported her missing last Tuesday.
It was reported that her neighbours had last seen Yusuf during the early hours of Friday, August 31.
Australian authorities turned their investigation into Yusuf’s whereabouts from a missing person’s report to a suspected homicide after “suspicious” circumstances led detectives to undertake an extensive forensic search of the property the couple lived on.
Drone footage shared by news agencies showed that experts dug several holes metres from children’s toys, where Yusuf’s body was discovered. A wheel-spanner, believed to be the murder weapon, was also found in a dirt bin in the backyard.
The couple had two children, a two- and a five-year-old. It was reported the children were living in the couple’s home in the days leading up to the discovery of Yusuf’s body. They went to school as normal and had no idea their mother had been buried in their backyard.
Seedat was expected to appear in the Stirling Magistrate’s Court in Perth on September 26. Meanwhile tributes poured in for slain Yusuf on social media with international gender-based violence organisations speaking out on the incident, and calling for an end to violence against women.