Mishkaah Fakier, the 44-year-old mother of four who died after being doused with petrol and set alight last week, ran more than 500m to the home of her former foster mother in a last-ditch effort for help.
Ms Fakier’s body was returned to the family earlier this week, and she was buried according to Muslim rites from a mosque in Woodstock.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, January 9, Ms Fakier and her attacker had an alterca- tion, in which he allegedly ac- cused her of disappearing with drugs and money belonging to him.
It is alleged the man tortured her for hours before dousing her in petrol and setting her on fire. He later handed himself over to Hout Bay police station in the presence of his lawyers.
The home where Ms Fakier was set alight is at the end of a meandering alleyway known as Kingfisher Lane. Under the cover of darkness, young men play betting games while others lurk in the shadiest recesses between the bungalows. Outside the home is a pole at which Ms Fakier is believed to have stood at one point before making her run for freedom. Moist patches can still be seen around the pole.
Ms Fakier was fostered by Hangberg resident Iris Lewis between the ages of eight months and 14. It was to her home, at the opposite end of Kingfisher Lane, that she fled.
“It was early in the morning, about 4.45 am, when we heard a frantic knocking at the door. I am unwell and struggle with my legs, so my daughter, Pamela Agulas, went to answer,” Ms Lewis said. “Pamela didn’t even recognise her, she was so badly damaged by the flames. She could speak though. My niece then came, and we called the emergency services from the fire station, and the ambulance came soon afterwards. She was so badly burnt and was in so much pain. I was pray- ing she would be taken by the Lord.”
Ms Lewis said Ms Fakier had often come to eat with the family, but it was known she was a drug addict.
“She started taking drugs shortly after her divorce. We all tried to help her get off drugs, and she tried herself. But now this has happened.”
Ms Lewis said the mother of two daughters and two young boys was loved by all in the commu- nity.
“My daughter attended the funeral and told me the children are devastated by what has happened.”
She called on the Hangberg community to make a stand against the drug scourge, and rid the area of dealers.