Durban - It's been 33 years since his wife was killed, but Ismail Kajee, 54, hasn’t lost hope that the perpetrators will be found.

Kajee’s wife, Aziza, who would have turned 53 this year, was murdered on July 25, 1985.

“It was a Thursday morning at about 11am,” Kajee recalled, “when I was informed about my wife’s death. It was surreal. I felt like I was dreaming.”

Recalling the fateful day, Kajee said he was with his brother, Ahmed, 63, with whom he ran a wholesale clothing business in Overport.

They had been out running errands, and returned to the business, where they were told to rush to Kajee’s flat at the Paramex Centre in Alice Street.

“My brother said something had happened and we needed to rush to my flat. But he did not tell me what had happened,” said Kajee.

“I could tell that there was something wrong by the look in his eyes. There was silence in the car as we drove home.”

When they arrived at his flat, throngs of people had already gathered, Kajee recalled.

“I realised from that moment that something bad had happened,” he said.

His now late father, Hoosein, rushed to him and took him aside.

“He pushed me away from the scene. He told me that my wife had been killed by someone who had entered our home,” said Kajee.

His father didn’t want him to see the body of his 20-year-old wife lying in a pool of blood inside his flat.

She had been stabbed in the chest and her throat had been slit. She was declared dead on the scene. She was buried the same day in accordance with Muslim rites.

“It was a dramatic morning for the family and the neighbourhood,” said Kajee.

The Kajees’ domestic worker, Jamina Dlamini, was also stabbed and sustained serious injuries, but she survived.

“She is the one who alerted my neighbours about the attack. She managed to crawl outside my house to my neighbour’s house,” said Kajee.

“It pains my heart that the person who killed my wife was not arrested. I will continue to fight. Maybe one day he will be arrested.

“All I want is justice to be served,” said Kajee. “I had to pick up the pieces and move on with my life.

“Sometimes you have to keep on moving in life, despite the challenges. You have no control over what life throws at you. But we want closure about her death.”

Kajee said he had tried without success to get those behind Aziza’s death behind bars.

“I have tried over the years on many occasions to get the police to re-look at and try to solve this senseless and brutal killing of a 20-year-old wife and daughter,” he said.

His brother, Ahmed, said: “It was sad that a 21-year-old man had to lose his wife at such a young age. It is traumatising and shocking.”

They didn’t have any children at the time of her death.

Kajee said he met Aziza when he was in matric while attending school at the then Gandhi-Desai High School. Aziza was in Standard 9 at the Durban Indian Girls’ High School, now called Durban Girls’ Secondary.

They had been married for four months when Aziza was killed.

“Despite the long wait for justice, we keep our fingers crossed,” said Kajee.

Sunday Tribune