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'He died alone. I couldn’t hold his hand, pray with him or read from the Quran'

20 May 2020 1:03 PM
Tags:
Lester Kiewit
Coronavirus
COVID-19
coronavirus in South Africa
covid-19 in south africa
coronavirus deaths
Covid-19 deaths
Western Cape Covid-19 deaths
covid-19 death rate
Maliek Fagodien

Nobody comforts you. Nobody holds your hand. You suffer alone. If you die, you die alone, warns Maliek Fagodien.

“He died alone,” Maliek Fagodien posted on Facebook.

© sudok1/123rf.com

"We couldn't be by his bedside as he went through this. I couldn't comfort and calm him, or even say that last goodbye face to face.”

Fagodien’s father, a respected and well-known elder in his community – he was the voice of the call to prayer at the Kapteinsklip Masjid – did not get the large send-off everyone always expected he would get.

The last time Fagodien saw his dad was when hospital staff wheeled him into the hospital “pale and struggling to move”.

Fagodien’s father stayed indoors – he only left to go to the shops.

He says it angers him to see members of his community in Mitchells Plain disregard lockdown regulations, walking the streets “like it’s the December holidays”.

"If you get infected, there will be no one to comfort you and say their goodbyes.”

Lester Kiewit interviewed Fagodien.

We took him to the hospital… the staff brought out a wheelchair and took him in. We couldn’t go in…

Maliek Fagodien

My father wasn’t a person who went out… he went to the shops now and then… it was a shock to hear he got Covid-19 because you don’t expect it to happen to your family.

Maliek Fagodien

The sad part is we had to tell family and my father’s close friends that they couldn’t come to the funeral… heartbreaking, because he was well-respected…

Maliek Fagodien

I couldn’t comfort him or hold his hand. I couldn’t pray by his bedside or read from the Quran… We couldn’t say ‘goodbye’…

Maliek Fagodien

People are ignoring the lockdown! They don’t see the seriousness. As I speak to you now, children are playing in the street. Don’t their parents care? The listeners can hear them! … Covid-19 is real; don’t take it for a joke! … If they want to go through what we did, then they must go on… Can you hear the children outside?

Maliek Fagodien

Listen to the heartbreaking interview in the audio below.


20 May 2020 1:03 PM
Tags:
Lester Kiewit
Coronavirus
COVID-19
coronavirus in South Africa
covid-19 in south africa
coronavirus deaths
Covid-19 deaths
Western Cape Covid-19 deaths
covid-19 death rate
Maliek Fagodien

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