Fiona's parents want justice

2009-02-28 00:00

Family and relatives buried Fiona Khader in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday in the cemetery where her grandmother is buried. Though the family now live in Durban, they were all born and lived in Pietermaritzburg.

“She was our only child. I would just like to know what happened so that my beautiful girl can rest in peace,” said her father, Abdul Rashid Khader, yesterday.

“I was very shocked. It is so very sad, she is leaving behind two very young children,” said her aunt, Hafiza Sahed, who was one of the first called in to identify her body.

When she was 16, Fiona ran away with Romila Singh’s son Rakesh Singh. His family did not approve and so they eloped.

“She is our only child. We didn’t want her to marry him, but we didn’t want to lose her, so my wife and I travelled to Johannesburg to have Fiona married,” said Khader.

The couple did not stay in Johannesburg for long — it is alleged that Rakesh got into some trouble, forcing them to move in with Singh.

About 18 months ago, Rakesh took a second wife and left Khader to live with her.

“My daughter was too young and beautiful to be alone without a husband, with two children and living like a slave,” said her mother. She told Weekend Witness that Khader’s mother-in-law forbade her to see her parents or family.

“Fiona didn’t tell us that she was unhappy there because that was her nature. She would rather cry and keep it to herself. She didn’t want to burden us,” said Khader.

“One day, we heard from her friends that she was unhappy there and we decided to go and see her. The family hit me in the street. They also hit Fiona,” said her father.

“As a mother, I feel the pain and I feel the loss. She made her children her life and took all the bad so that she could always be with them. I am so proud of her. I just want those who killed her to face justice so that she can rest in peace,” said his wife.

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