A Bonteheuwel imam has described how his wife bravely caught a bullet with her hands, in an attempt to save her son from being killed. Imam Magedien Abrahams, his wife Shireen and three sons were the victims of a callous drive-by shooting more than two weeks ago, with most of them sustaining serious injuries.
On the night of Election Day on Wednesday 3 August, the imam and his family had returned from visiting his son’s new born baby, when the car was sprayed with bullets on the corners of Juniper and Jasmine streets in Bonteheuwel. The driver of the black VW Polo indicated to overtake their vehicle, and when the car passed in front, shots rang out. The family believe it may have been a case of mistaken identity. No suspects have been arrested.
Speaking to VOC on Saturday, Abrahams recalled those life-changing moments, saying it was through his wife’s courage that his one son is still alive. He was shocked to discover his wife still holding the bullet in her hand at the hospital on the night of the shooting.
“She saw the bullet directed at our son’s face…and she grabbed it with her hands. It was emotional hearing those moments, I cried…everyone at the hospital cried,” he says.
“She lost two fingers just to save him. That a mother would go through that just to save her child… I have no words to describe it. I thank the Almighty (swt) for granting her to still be with us.”
Shireen’s condition was critical as she was wounded in her mouth and chest, and an artery in her neck burst. Over the two weeks, she has shown remarkable improvement and is now recovering at home. Her jaw remains intact and her breast is healing.
On Saturday, the family commenced their first session of trauma counselling. Abrahams says his three sons are also doing well, despite the severity of their injuries.
The second eldest son sustained a bullet to his stomach which could not be located. The surgeons are concerned that searching for this bullet may damage his other organs. They believe he will be able to recover fully, despite the bullet still inside his body.
The youngest son, 14 year old Masoed still has a bullet lodged in his knee. Doctors advised against an operation due to possible long-term ligament and muscular damage. The bullet is said to be in a “safe” place inside his knee.
“The physiotherapist says there is nothing wrong with the movement of his knee. He can run and do exercise as per normal. Alhamdullilah, because the boys are active, they were able to recover speedily.”
While Abrahams has yet to face high medical bills, he admitted that transport to and from the hospital has been a challenge as they do not have a car. For the most part, they rely on his eldest.
Abrahams says his family’s recovery would not have been possible without the prayers and support of Bonteheuwel residents and the broader community.
“That’s the miracle of the dua. That’s why the healing process has been so fast, alhamdullilah. We say shukr to everyone for assisting us and praying for us. We are forever grateful.” VOC