Beloved flower man ’Moos’ laid to rest

Moses Moosa Jaftha

Moses “Moos” Jaftha, 76, owner of the flower business in Brounger Lane, behind Peddlars restaurant, died in Constantiaberg Mediclinic on Saturday December 26.

Mr Jaftha lived in Lotus River with wife Helen. One of his sons, Charles said his dad was diabetic and had been admitted to hospital mid-December where he died after contracting Covid-19. His funeral service took place on Saturday January 2 at Christ Church, Constantia which he attended for more than 60 years.

Each year Moses Jaftha helped convene the plant stand at the Christ Church spring market. He is pictured in October 2017 with Paddy McPherson of Diep River.

Mr Jaftha was born to Solomon and Catherine Jaftha on November 8, 1944, in Strawberry Lane, Constantia. The second youngest of six children, he is survived by his youngest sister, Patricia “Lizzy” Jaftha, said Cameron Williams who spoke at the funeral.

Mr Jaftha went to DRC School in Strawberry Lane and then to Central Primary School in Diep River. He worked in a pharmacy and then at Schweppes Albion Spring, at a butcher in Bergvliet and Pick n Pay in Plumstead before being moved to various other branches. But Moos was an entrepreneur, said Mr Williams, and he started a walk-in business in Constantia selling snoek, chickens, fruit and vegetables as far away as the Overberg. He married Helen on April 16, 1966 in Christ Church. They had four children, Charles, Malcolm, Christopher and Liesl.

The family cottage was where the entrance gate to the housing development “Strawberry Fields”’ is now situated.

The Jaftha family’s cottage in Strawberry Lane, was demolished under the apartheid era Group Areas Act.

The family was uprooted and dispersed in 1969 under the Group Areas Act when the Jafthas were offered a brick council house to rent with electricity and running water in Steenberg. Many people applied to go, thinking life would be easier. Others stayed because Constantia was where they earned a living. However, the authorities soon became insistent and were told to move, including the Jafthas who were moved into a flat in Parkwood. It turned their lives upside down and Helen’s grandmother died within three months.

At the funeral, Claire Lester, speaking on behalf of Constantia Heritage and Education Project (CHEP), of which Mr Jaftha was a founder member, recounted the pain of the family leaving their pets behind. “Their dogs, chickens, pigs… and the family’s home of many generations. He leaves a gaping hole but CHEP will persist and continue his vision,” said Ms Lester.

Moses Jaftha’s family history stretches back to the 1800s when his great-grandmother, Susan Williams, grew flowers and strawberries in the area.

A tearful Liesl Jaftha spoke of journeys with her parents, both in South Africa and overseas. And of how their family home was always full of people. “Mum always made huge pots of food and the soccer team would arrive on Sundays and finish it all,” she said.

Charles Jaftha said he and his brothers all played for Park Swallows Football Team which turns 50 in October. His dad would transport the team to the annual camps at Soetwater and was also a keen angler.

Mr Jaftha’s sons Malcolm and Charles will continue with the business which sells fresh-cut flowers and has supplied the flower sellers in Adderley Street for many years. “He would be so proud if he could see his garden today,” said Charles Jaftha as he warmly welcomed customers last week.