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“I’m not afraid of death. I’m dead already”

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Having lost his father in a bloody execution little over a year ago has left Mohammed Mayet without much to live for. Under threat from what is perceived to be an extortion ring reportedly having warned that he was going to die if he continued scratching for evidence on the murder and threatening to kill him and his family, he is ready to lose his life and meet his maker.
In the quiet of the night Mayet’s voice sounded forlorn as he remarked that the first threat had been received approximately two months after the murder of his father, Yunus, on 8 September last year.
He said it would never be easy putting behind him his father’s murder because the family had not found closure as yet and neither would they stop until they reached that stage. He was confident, though, that they would get to a point where the case was concluded and that it was built up ever since the latest developments had been escalated and received attention from a host of role players.
Losing his father was ultimately like dying that day too. He was not afraid of being killed by the same people he believed had killed his father, Mohammed emphasised. Death was a means for him to meet Allah. “And I’m dead already because they took my father away.” It was a pain that he couldn’t describe to anyone, it never went away and it felt like yesterday, The entire scene during which he was also taken hostage repeatedly played out in his mind. It could never be over until he got to the bottom of it, he stressed.
He believed he knew what transpired on the night of the incident when his father was killed, which was why he wouldn’t stop digging until he had found out the entire truth. “The only way for them to stop me is for them to give me a bullet.” He gave the assurance that he would fight back if confronted.
In the light of warnings about a killing or a kidnapping having been planned for this past Saturday – which is seen to have been averted due to attention by the matter having been escalated to the level of the Provincial Police Commissioner’s office – the family remained traumatised, scared and depressed amid recent developments in the form of alleged threats against them. For purposes of the interview the young Mayet revisited fresh claims emanating from what was described as an evident ambush in Nirvana by a group of close to 20 foreign nationals during an incident some three weeks ago. The incident formed the basis for a case of intimidation registered with Westenburg Police shortly after and another of extortion, that followed voice recordings made in the presence of officers at Polokwane station two days later.
He emphasised extreme disappointment on the part of the family when the intimidation and extortion cases were provisionally withdrawn against four accused days after their arrests, considering the fact that repeated pleas had been made for the documentation of two of the accused persons to be verified.
In the meantime Pakistani-born Salman Hamed (49) appeared in Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Friday in a case unrelated to that of intimidation that was recently reportedly provisionally withdrawn against him and one of the then accused.
Hamed was remanded in custody until today (Thursday) when he is expected to apply for bail.
According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi he is suspected of being in South Africa illegally and of fraudulently obtaining an identification document. When asked about response to further questions posed to the NPA about Hamed reportedly having originally been granted R500 bail in the intimidation case at Westenburg Police station late afternoon on the day of his recent arrest and the reason for the earlier provisional withdrawal of the cases against Hamed and the three other accused, Malabi-Dzhangi said at the time of going to press that she was still awaiting feedback on the issues from prosecutors at Polokwane Magistrate’s Court.
During the course of following up leads to the story, Polokwane Observer was furnished with copies of Home Affairs correspondence dated December 2007 and February 2008 respectively that, among others, referenced a fine apparently paid by Hamed for allegedly fraudulently having obtained a certificate of marriage to a minor to secure permanent residence and ultimately citizenship in 2004. Attempts by Polokwane Observer to ascertain the status of the case resulted in Home Affairs Provincial Manager Albert Matsaung undertaking to follow up on the matter.
It was learnt that concurrent with the case against Hamed a second suspect is still being sought in connection with alleged contravention of South Africa’s immigration laws. At the time of going to press a last check was conducted with Provincial Police Communications Head Motlafela Mojapelo whose feedback is still awaited.
Mighty Tactical Reaction Service (TRS) owner Shabier Valjie, who is actively involved in fighting crime particularly in Nirvana – where the vice of threat against the Mayet family and their immediate relatives seemingly stems from – issued a stern warning that they wouldn’t allow gangsterism in Polokwane. “We’re not going to have the start of gangsterism and a group of extortionists and oppressors in our city. Polokwane has always been a safe place in terms of that specific crime.” Mentioning a rise in kidnappings in the city, he said as crime fighters on the ground they were trying to contain and control it to eradicate the scourge. Valjie, who is known for his firm stance against crime in all its facets, concluded saying that the start of gangsterism in the area was totally unacceptable and that they would stand their ground together with the Police to ensure such groupings were not formed and to make sure they broke any of it down as it originated.

Story: YOLANDE NEL
>>observer.yolande@gmail.com