Following a two-month delay in his burial, the Cape Town High court granted the Al Jama-ah party an urgent interdict for the release of Tanzanian national Yusuf Kariboto’s body from the Salt River mortuary.
The 30-year-old’s body was found in the Bokmakirrie canal a week after being swept away amid heavy rains in July. Kariboto was hailed as a hero after his attempt to rescue 8-year-old Abieda Paulse, who had slipped and fell into the Vygieskraal canal while playing with friends. Sadly, her body emerged from the water under the M5 Bridge a day prior to Kariboto’s.
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Speaking to VOC Breakfast Beat on Wednesday morning ahead of their court appearance, Al Jama-ah leader and member of parliament Ganief Hendricks explained that they had stumbled upon the story while doing rounds in Belgravia, as Parliament’s constituency break drew to a close.
“We were in contact with the MJC, Gift of the Givers and local imams and we found that they were all waiting for DNA results that must come from the mother in Tanzania because there wasn’t proper identification.”
The Tanzanian national was not in possession of valid paperwork at the time of his passing. Hendricks said that the ‘facts’ around the matter were inaccurate, considering he was identifiable by the clothing he was last seen wearing.
“The misinformation is that you must get the DNA test and it must be accompanied by a detective from South Africa- all that was nonsense. There was a way to get the body released. There was identification from the body, his friends recognized the cloths he wore on the day he jumped into the river. The courts have accepted that.”
“We will take the court order to the local imam and In Sha Allah (God Willing) they will be able to proceed with burial arrangements,” said Hendricks.
Resident Imam, Salih Davids, said that Kariboto’s family remains distraught that their son, brother and husband has not yet been laid to rest. David explained that it had been very stressful thus far and was hopeful that the matter would be finalized without any further complications.
Hendricks noted that Al-Jama’ah will hereafter be proposing amendments to the policy which regulates burials, to prevent such delays in future.
“The next step is to go to parliament to make sure that there’s a policy on the burial, especially for muslim foreigners who don’t have proper identification. Like in this case, he didn’t have a passport or ID documents. (That) did make it difficult but it wasn’t necessary to delay the burial for two months because now all of us are punished because we didn’t hasten to bury the body,” said Hendricks.
Confirmation of his release and details of the janaaza had not yet been confirmed at the time of publishing.