Due to the swift response from the Muslim community, a Cape Town burial society says they were able to give two ‘John Does’ a dignified burial. On Thursday, surial services put out a call to the public for assistance in the burial of Amien Saeedi, a foreign national who passed away on the 22 November and Faried Follentine, who died on the 5th November. Very little was known about the men, except that Follentine had lived on the streets for many years, and was last known to have resided at the Haven shelter in Green Point. Follentine was believed to be estranged from his family. Both men passed away at Somerset Hospital.
The bodies were kept at a non-Muslim parlour and if not claimed in time, the deceased would have been buried as paupers. Ebrahim Solomon from Al Muflis Burial services was contacted to claim the bodies, but not without payment. He sprang into action, calling on the community to assist with funds for the release of the bodies, and to secure the burial hole and shroud.
“The body is kept at the hospital for three hours and if nobody claims it, then the parlour collects the body. They hold it for three days but thereafter, they charge for keeping it,” he said.
Within a few hours, Solomon received a flood calls from members of the public with donations, including charity organisation Muslim Hands.
“Because of the community support, we could bury Amien Saeedi on Thursday. Faried Follentine was buried before Jumuah on Friday. Alhamdullilah, both were given a dignified burial,” said Solomon.
Many times when foreign nationals pass away, it is difficult to locate their families. However, Solomon said they were pleased that through the call on VOC, they managed to at least locate the family of Follentine.
“His children came forward and promised to attend the janaazah.” VOC