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Body of ‘Boeta Zain’ found six months after his disappearance

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By Wardah Wilkinson

After mysteriously disappearing more than six months ago, it’s been confirmed that a 68-year-old man from Hanover Park is dead. Police have confirmed that Zainodien Moerat’s body was apparently found in a canal in Macassar. A short man with grey hair, Moerat was known to roam the streets of Lansdowne, Grassy Park and surrounding areas and had become a well-known sight to motorists and local residents. He was often seen wearing a green blazer and a white fez.

Western Cape police confirmed that an unknown body was found on Friday 29 September last year at the canal and an inquest case was registered for investigation.

“The body was removed by Forensic Pathology and taken to the Tygerberg morgue. The body was only identified on Tuesday by family members,” said Captain FC Van Wyk.

It’s believed the elderly man had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and was in bad health. He lost his wife over 10 years ago. His son Zainodien Junior said he was well known as ‘Boeta Jainie’ or ‘Boeta Zain’. According to Zainodien Junior, he was contacted by police two days ago and asked to identify the body.

“We have identified the body. His Janazah will be held today (Wednesday).”

Moerat made headlines in May last year when two young men threatened to harm him with a hammer and blindfolded him with a towel, accusing the old man of scamming people. A video showing the torture and abuse went viral on social media.

Moerat who was an orphan from Paarl worked as a truck driver and lived a peaceful live with his wife and children and 25 cats in Hanover Park. His wife passed away 10 years ago. According to sources, Moerat was allegedly abused at home and he was forced to beg on the streets of Cape Town.

The Muslim Judicial Council second-deputy president Shaykh Riad Fataar has expressed his condolences on Moerat’s passing.

“It is with sadness that we have learnt of the passing of Mr Moerat, a person known on the streets of Cape Town. Many of us have assisted him. What is sad is the manner in which he departed this world. We make dua that the police find the perpetrators behind this. May Allah SWT grant him Jannatul Firdaus, Ameen.”


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