Sahra Omar Farah fled from violence in Somalia with her three children — one of them deaf — to South Africa in search of a better life.
But just 15 days after settling in a village in the Eastern Cape, named after struggle hero Oliver Tambo, she and her family were butchered like animals.
The crime was so brutal, so shocking, that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees sent a team this week to the village to conduct an investigation.
Farah, 46, was stabbed 113 times. Her children Mohamed Isse Osman, 19, Ibrahim Isse Osman, 14, and their sister Asha Isse Osman, 12 were stabbed and battered to death. Their bodies were found last Friday by horrified villagers who arrived to buy bread at the bloodied spaza shop where they were living.
Farah’s brother, Abdikani Abdi Karil, saw police cars, an ambulance and a pool of blood seeping under a door when he was summoned to the shop.
'My sister lay there naked, as if she was trapped while running to the door,' he said. 'My eldest nephew, Mohamed Isse Osman, was underneath her. She held him as if she was protecting him from the attackers.
'She was naked, and her left eye had been removed. There were stab wounds on her head and all over the body. I could not count. All I could think of was my deaf nephew, Ibrahim, and 12-year-old niece. I ran around the shop to look for them,' said Abdi Karil.
He found Ibrahim slumped behind packets of sugar.
'When I looked around, there was Aisha’s body behind the counter, also naked. I can’t sleep. I have not slept for the past five days,' said Abdi Karil.
'I’m trying to make peace with what happened, but how can I do that when innocent and helpless people like my sister were killed so mercilessly?'
Police have arrested three men in connection with the murders. Masithini Dyasi, 19, Melikhaya Ncaphayi, 26 and Mandla Thomas, 22, appeared at the Queenstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Police spokesman Superintendent Gcinikhaya Taleni said the case had been postponed until Tuesday.
The UNHCR’s representative, Abel Mbilinyi, said the incident was receiving urgent attention.
'The attack was brutal. It stands out in the crowd. It is senseless. We don’t even know why they were killed,' said Mbilinyi.
Abdi Karil was dealt another devastating blow this week. As he packed his belongings to leave Queenstown for Mogadishu to arrange his sister’s funeral, he received a phone call from Somalia. The family home there had been gutted.
You know, normally I send some hadith s and I promise I will send some related to this article later insha Allah, but just so its not too much to read at once I just want to bring your attention to some of the oppression happening to Muslims around the world..... We cry about the oppression of Islam and the Muslims everywhere, but what about the oppression of Islam in our own homes, our own lives, our own families, our own hearts?
Our Rasoul (salallaho alaihi wa salaam) was sent to this world in a time of oppression and injustice, chaos and corruption, evil and madness ect, and with the help of Allah the glorified and exalted, he S.A.W. brought change spreading Islam (peace) throughout the lands. The Nur(light) of truth destroying all the darkness of lies and mis-guidance........ im saying this cause it is similar to the world we live in today, this world is crying for Islam, crying for the followers of Rasoul Allah(S.A.W.) To stand up for the sake of Allah and be 100% Muslims 100% of the time.
Be brothers, and sisters to each other, love each other without trying to find faults in one another, we can do it for the sake of Allah S.W.T. I know its easier said than done, but there can be no destination of we don’t start taking steps now.