Pietermaritzburg - The family of slain Pietermaritzburg businessman Ashraf Mohideen (also known by the family name Tajoodeen) were struck a double blow when his son appeared in the dock on Wednesday, charged with conspiracy to murder his father.Mohideen’s brother (who asked that his name not be published) told The Witness the family is “shattered” and could not make any comment at this stage.“You must understand that this has been a double tragedy for us … You must take into account our state of mind right now,” he said, visibly tense and upset.Mohideen’s son, Jibraeel Mohideen, 26, faces a charge that he conspired with the family’s domestic worker, Emily Mchunu, 52, of Willowfountain, to arrange his father’s murder.Alongside them in the dock were the two alleged “hitmen”, Joshua Nxumalo, 40, also of Willowfountain, and Zandisile Mtshali, 32, of Highflats.As the four were escorted single-file into the courtroom from the cells on Wednesday afternoon, the silence was broken by the rapid clicking and flashing of press cameras. The four ignored the photographers, however, simply staring straight ahead and obeying instructions to be seated in a certain order. All remained impassive throughout the proceedings, and their faces displayed no emotion. After magistrate Y. Khuzwayo had explained the charges and their rights to legal representation to them, Jibraeel Mohideen calmly told her, “I would like to apply for legal aid”.Nxumalo and Mtshali also asked for legal aid representation, with Mchunu the only one of the four who had a private attorney — Sipho Ngubane — representing her at the hearing.Prosecutor Patti David told Khuzwayo that the state is opposed to the four being released on bail due to the seriousness of the case and concern for the safety of witnesses, as “confessions were made to private people”.She said another concern was the safety of the accused themselves.David added that some accused were “in the process of making confessions”.The case was postponed to March 23 for a formal bail application, with all four remanded.Sources close to the investigation confirmed, however, that discussions are under way behind the scenes to determine if any of the four might decide to enter into pleas in the near future.To date, two of them, including Jibraeel Mohideen, have already made statements to magistrates in connection with the case.After their brief appearance on Wednesday the four were quickly hustled back to the cells, without being given an opportunity to talk to their relatives who crowded the public gallery. Members of Mohideen’s family were guarded when asked what their attitude towards him was, following the revelation that he could be involved in his father’s murder.However, one relative said members of the family planned to try and visit him at the police station where he is being held, and would take him some food and clothing. After that it would be a case of “wait and see”.The family is also understood to be rallying together to comfort and care for Jibraeel Mohideen’s twin sister. A relative said it was a devastating blow for her to lose first her father, and now her only sibling. “What the motive was for him [Jibraeel] to want his father dead, we just don’t know,” the relative said.Family and friends of Mchunu who attended Wednesday’s hearing told reporters later that they had been shocked by her arrest. Jibraeel Mohideen’s friends expressed shock at his arrest on Facebook, saying they could not believe that he could be involved in his father’s murder. Mohideen, owner of Lee’s Auto Sales, was found stabbed to death at his home in James Niven Road, Scottsville, on February 25. The killers were allegedly let into the house, where they waited for the businessman’s arrival and ambushed him. It is alleged that Mchunu was bound and gagged and locked into a bathroom as part of the plan to make it appear that the businessman had been the victim of a house robbery.