‘I will get justice for my son or die trying’

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Murder victim Zahir Bobat

“It was a travesty of justice. I will not rest until the absolute truth is uncovered and those who were paid off to lie in my son’s murder, are named and shamed.”

These were the bitter and determined sentiments of aggrieved Phoenix dad and businessman, Amod Sayed Bobat (56), who together with his family have been left shattered after the three accused in their son Zahir’s murder, were acquitted and walked free from the Durban High Court on Thursday.

Speaking to the Phoenix Tabloid, a devastated Bobat said, “Someone was paid off to lie. Someone sold out the truth for cash. I cannot believe that this is the kind of justice that is meted out. My son was murdered. We lost a son. An eight-year-old boy has lost his father. And three murderers are walking free.”

Zahir Bobat (30), was found hanged from a tree in the Woodview park in March 2016. Initial reports indicated that the Phoenix resident had committed suicide. However, his father believed otherwise. Determined to uncover the truth behind his son’s death, Bobat embarked on a quest for justice.

He searched and investigated, following every lead until he built a case that pointed towards murder and three suspects, believed to be Zahir’s friends, Shalen Naidu, 20; John- Jordache Naidoo, 24; and Brenton Moodley, 27; were identified and arrested for Zahir’s killing. In the succeeding court case, it emerged that the group fought over airtime. At some point following the dispute, Zahir was assaulted and subsequently strangled to death. His body was found hanged from a tree with rope and a curtain blind.

Bobat said he could view the park from his house and saw his son’s lifeless body hanging. He said he voiced his belief to police that his son would never commit suicide but instead Zahir’s death reeked of murder. Bobat explained how he returned to the crime scene and said he told police this was murder, not suicide. “I went back to the scene and collected evidence which included a water bottle and a cloth. I then proceeded in my investigations and retrieved the post-mortem results which I handed to police. When the accused were arrested and faced the court for the murder of my son, I had hoped finally my family would have some closure even though we could never get my son back. To hear that these three killers were released because a witness changed statements three times and was deemed not credible is sickening,” claimed Bobat.

“There have been too many inconsistencies in this case. These killers have been released but I will not give up. I am relentless in my quest for justice in my son’s murder. My family is in turmoil. We are reliving the horror of my son’s killing. My wife is in a state of shock since hearing about the acquittal. Zahir’s son is traumatised. I am plagued with sleepless nights since those three killers walked free. They are celebrating life after they murdered my son whilst we are grieving all over again,” a furious Bobat further claimed.

“Someone betrayed the legal system. I have lost faith in the law of South Africa. Three murderers are walking free. A child and two parents’ are mourning a father and son. I will get justice for my son or die trying,” the broken-hearted father added.

Phoenix CPF chairman, Umesh Singh, said, “I commend Mr Bobat on his determination and struggle to uncover the truth behind his son’s death. He went out of his way to ensure that police were on the right track. He assisted because he sought justice for his son, his family. We sympathise with his plight at the acquittal of the accused and we trust that he and his family finds peace from here on.”