Christian-Indian family attacked at dad’s graveside

SEPT 18 2011 – CHRISTIAN-INDIAN FAMILY ATTACKED WHILE IN PRAYER AT FATHER’S GRAVESIDE MOBENI HEIGHTS CEMETERY PHOENIX, KZN, South Africa.  Dan and Lorraine Muthusamy, daughter Sharlene were violently ambushed by black gang while praying at her father’s graveside at Mobeni Heights cemetery Sunday-morning. National Tourism Association member Marlin Veerasamy warns more security and police-patrols are needed: ‘or else the situation could spiral out of control’.

MUTHASAMY family Phoenix attacked at her father graveside violent robbers SunSept182011 MOBENI HEIGHTS CEMETERY KZN

Rising Sun journalist Vivaga Thambiran interviewed the distraught couple after their ordeal. Lorraine, 53, a creditors’ clerk at MassCash and husband Dan, who works as an export clerk at Woodview in Phoeniex, were attacked very violently when praying at her father’s graveside. “My father died about 14 years ago, and we were at his graveside on the anniversary of his death after attending mass in Overport, she said. “The day turned ugly after robbers ambushed us while we were praying.” She was still shaken from the ordeal. “On the way, we stopped and bought flowers before proceeding to the Mobeni Heights cemetery. It was a quiet day except for one vehicle  that was parked in the cemetery.”

She said: “My husband Dan and I closed our eyes and started to pray.  For some reason, my daughter Sharlene who also accompanied us to my father’s grave site opened her eyes. She could not believe what she was seeing. By the movements of the robbers, we were disturbed and opened our eyes only to realize that we were cornered.”  

We will cut you with a broken bottle:
One of the (black) robbers said to Sharlene, ” Do not make a move or speak or I will cut you with a broken bottle.”
“They violently pushed us on the floor and demanded for our cellphones and cash. My wedding ring, gold bangles and bracelet which is of sentimental to me was also taken. Throughout the ordeal, we were trembling in fear. They also ordered my husband to hand over the car keys. They went to the vehicle and searched for valuables. They found three cellphones including a Blackberry. What was disturbing is that while we were being robbed of our valuables, there was no security personnel in sight, to assist us. Even if we did scream, no one would have heard our calls for help. I have vowed to my family that I will never return to the cemetery,  instead I will  pray at home,” said Muthusamy.

Marlin Veerasamy, 37, of Hillary, a member of the National Tourism Association of South Africa who also went to pay his respects at his grandmother’s grave site and was present at the time of the incident said, “As we finished our prayer, we noticed a couple running towards  us. They looked shaken and terrified.  We immediately assisted them by phoning the police and providing comfort to them.”  Veerasamy said there need to be more security and police patrols at the cemetery or else the situation could spiral out of control.

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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