Traumatised, angry, hurt, and confused, is how Mushfeeqah Hanslow’s mother felt after she found her 18-year-old daughter dead with a bag over her head and her hands and feet tied.
Ruwayda Adams from Hanover Park told the Athlone News that her whole world was turned upside down when she found her “baby’s” body with a bullet to the shoulder in a dark room last Tuesday.
She said her daughter left the house on Tuesday afternoon February 27 with her cellphone and after many hours did not return home. Mushfeeqah had gone to the flat where her boyfriend stayed which she frequented quite often and which is close to their house.
Ms Adams said she stood at the front gate of her house, calling out for her daughter but she did not respond. She then called her cellphone but the phone was off.
She said before Mushfeeqah left she told her to come home early as they needed to discuss plans for a family braai which was set to take place over the past weekend.
“Her sister Nawaal went up (to the boyfriend’s flat) and said there is no one there. I shouted her name again and asked the boys to go look for her and they came back and said that there was no one there,” said Ms Adams.
Ms Adams continued: “I was still busy with my washing and I kept calling my phone but it was off. She always listened to music on my phone so I thought she played it (the battery) dead.”
She said her daughter was always busy, had many friends whom she visited and was never in one spot for long.
“She still said when she comes back she wants her pocket money because I didn’t give it to her. I told my sister I want my phone because I needed to call someone before it got late. I came in and folded the washing and sat on my bed.”
Ms Adams said Nawaal told her the police were at the flat and the children said that someone was lying inside.
Ms Adams said as she sat on her bed she tried to feel her daughter’s presence but couldn’t.
“I heard Nawaal screaming after she went out and then my husband came in and I looked at him and his tears fell and I said ‘no don’t joke now’ and he shook his head and said ‘it’s Fieka’. I said ‘no, no, no I would’ve sensed it’. I could hear Nawaal screaming and then she told me to come look and I said no I don’t want to.
“The police came and told me that I needed to come up and the house was dark I could just see her laying there. There was a bag over her head but I recognised the top that she was wearing. I broke down and the police took me to my husband.”
She said the ambulance arrived and at the time her blood pressure dropped. “I was shocked, traumatised, and just felt numb. I couldn’t even cry, I couldn’t believe it. I thought no man, not Fieka. I still can’t believe it. I can still see her whenever I close my eyes … I see her laying there.
“I never thought that something like this would happen. I am very protective over my children, she was my baby. You don’t expect this, I was very angry at God but I have had so much support from family and friends. I can’t accept this. It doesn’t want to sink in,” she said.
Ms Adams said she has to remain strong for her family. “I don’t want to have a breakdown. God has given me strength and I am holding on for dear life. I felt as if the bones in my body were killing me. Why would anyone want to do this to her? I don’t understand this,” said Ms Adams.
She described her daughter as a loving child who was always happy and helpful. She said that Mushfeeqa was known for her spontaneity and wild character.
“I would like to see justice served. My family is destroyed, they are so angry. I have to keep them at bay,” she said.
Philippi police station spokesman, Captain Lance Goliath, said last Thursday March 1, an 18-year-old teen arrived with his lawyer and handed himself over to police. He is currently being held at Pollsmoor Prison and is due to appear for a bail hearing in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Friday March 9.
“We have identified a second suspect linked to the case and an arrest will be made shortly,” he said.