The men walk in silence from the mosque in Stanwest, Standerton. They pray there at sunset every day during the holy month of Ramadan – but their friend, Hanif Makda, no longer prays with them.
‘‘What happened is the unholiest of deeds,’’ Haroon Chothia says. Hanif was his best friend.
Across the road from the mosque is the house in Sydney de Lange Street where the mutilated bodies of 44-year-old Hanif and his wife, Fatima (37), were found in their bedroom on a recent Sunday morning.Then it was announced that their eldest son Zahid (18), a bright Grade 11 learner, had been arrested.
Two alleged accomplices, Lucky Mahlangu (19) and Thuto Miya (20), apparently fled the murder scene in Hanif’s car and were involved in an accident near the town. Mahlangu was killed and an injured Miya was arrested at the scene.
Police say two bloodstained knives were found in the car and Zahid’s telephone number was listed on Miya’s phone. Miya apparently told the police Zahid had paid them an initial R1 000 to kill his parents, promising R250 000 more when a life insurance policy paid out.
Rasheed Sarang, Zahid’s school principal, says, ‘‘We don’t know how the devil got hold of him.’’
He confronted Zahid in court the day after the tragedy. Through his tears the boy told him how he’d been intimidated at school and made to steal money for older learners, who’s threatened to kill his two younger siblings.
Rasheed remembers Zahid’s last words to him before he was led to the cells ‘‘Sir, I told them I’d leave the back door open. They said they’d take the money and goods and run. I begged them not to harm my mother and father. I promise you, Sir, I begged them.’’
Read the full story in the YOU of 9 September 2010