No parent should live to see their child being tortured, says mom of Hanover Park man killed by mob

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Markham Abrahams.
Markham Abrahams.
  • A Hanover Park mob allegedly tortured Markham Abrahams after he was caught breaking into a flat in the area last week.
  • His heartbroken mother says her son was beaten and treated like an animal.
  • Police were informed he died in hospital on Sunday night.

"No parent should live to see their child being tortured."

So said a grief-stricken Hanover Park mother after her 26-year-old son was attacked by a mob in St Lucia Court more than a week ago, after he was allegedly caught breaking into a flat.

Corinne Abrahams' son, Markham, was beaten with a sjambok and whips, tied to a pole, kicked, and punched multiple times before dirty water was thrown over him.

He died at Groote Schuur Hospital on Sunday at about 20:00, after spending a few days in the intensive care unit.

Corinne told News 24 the last time she saw her son was on Friday when she visited him in hospital.

He was in such excruciating pain, she said, unable to utter but a few words.

"He wanted to show me what his back looked like after the residents hit and kicked him until he started bleeding, but he couldn't move much because he was in a lot of pain."

Corinne said he told her they threw him out of the window of the third floor flat when they found him, then beat him up for several hours before law enforcement intervened.

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According to her, when neighbours rushed to tell her what people were doing to her son, she ran to the scene where she had to witness her bloodied son, beaten to a pulp and tied to a pole, looking like he was "on his last".

"I knew he was battling with his drug addiction," she sadly said.

"It's a sight I never want to see again and something no parent should ever have to witness, no matter what wrong your child did. No human being should be treated in such a cruel and disgusting manner.

"That was my boy. I am his mother, they should've brought him to me and told me what he did before torturing him like that, and then I would have sorted him out myself.

"They have killed my son," a heartbroken Corinne said.

She added her son did not respond when she asked him why he was inside the flat although residents told her he tried to break in.

Corinne said Markham had a mental disability after being hit by a car when he was still child, and as a result of that incident he had only one ear.

She claimed when she told residents she would be making a case against them, they became aggressive and threatened her.

"There was absolutely no remorse from the people who did this to my son. No one has since come to apologise; instead, they have resorted to posting the cruel video on social media. They have no idea how I feel as a mother to know that they did this to my son.

"People just stood and watched them do this. They did nothing to help him."

Corinne said when the hospital called to say her son had died she just closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and sat shocked.

"It was a very painful moment for us as a family. How do we recover from this."

Videos of the attack have since been blasted on social media.

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Corinne pleaded with people to "refrain from sharing the content. He is dead already. Please let us mourn".

Western Cape police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said the investigating officer in the case was informed that Markham died.

"The cause of his death is unknown as yet and therefore cannot be attributed to the alleged assault.

"The process prescribes that an autopsy be conducted to determine the possible cause of death, and should it be directly linked to the initial allegations of assault, [it] will be converted to a murder investigation," Pojie added.

Community policing forum spokesperson Kashiefa Mohammed condemned the "vile" incident. 

"This is unacceptable; why take the law into your own hands? Yes, he broke into a house, but it can never justify their actions."

She said in the videos going viral on social media, Markham could be seen pleading with his attackers to stop hitting him.

"He pleads to let him live, but instead, he is kicked, water is poured over him and he is choked with a rope, he was tied like a dog," Mohammed added.

She said the police were currently following the necessary procedures for this case and requested the community to come forward but also allow authorities the space required to fulfil their duties. 

"We will not stop till justice for this young man is served," Mohammed added. 

Corinne said the thought of her son never walking into their home again, left a bitter taste in her mouth.

"I cannot believe he is gone just like that. My heart is sore. I will miss him, never mind his faults and failures, we all have them."

She added she would never forget the sight of seeing her son beaten and tied to a pole.

The family is now preparing for Markham's funeral.

He will be buried next weekend. 

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