The man accused of stabbing and killing his wife while she was driving has made his first court appearance.
When Abdul Salam, 39, appeared on a charge of murder at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday March 8, those in court got a glimpse of the man who allegedly tried to run away after killing his wife but was caught by bystanders at the scene.
On Thursday March 4 Mr Salam and his wife Miche Samuels, 30, were driving along Ottery Road with their one-year-old daughter in the back seat when he allegedly stabbed Ms Samuels multiple times in the chest and neck while she was driving – this then caused a motor vehicle accident when another car drove into the back of their red Fiat which caused heavy traffic delays.
Mr Salam was caught when he tried to run away from the scene and was arrested by Law Enforcement officers. The knife was found close to the scene – videos and pictures of the scene had gone viral on social media.
The couple lived in Beulah Court in Parkwood with their daughter and sons, aged 5 and 7, who are in the care of their maternal grandmother Patricia Beck who lives in Pelican Park.
Ms Beck said the children are traumatised by what happened but don’t fully understand that their mother has died because they keep asking where their mother is. “Not once did the boys ask where their father is but they long for their mother.”
Daniel Beck, Miche’s stepfather, said Abdul was a passive, non-violent man but that the couple had had cultural issues as Mr Salam is a Bangladeshi national who wanted his family to immigrate to his home country.
“I told her not to immigrate because my fear was that he wanted the children that side and that we would never see them again. We are a close family,” said Mr Beck.
He added: “He is a very passive guy but he had been unemployed for years because he couldn’t find a job so he looked after the children – which he did well but he couldn’t contribute financially. Miche was the breadwinner which must have frustrated him.
Ms Beck said on the morning of the incident Mr Salam had called her. “He said I must fetch the children at school. At first I couldn’t understand what he was saying because of his heavy accent but he was saying that she is fighting for her life. I went to the Wynberg police station to fetch my granddaughter.”
Neighbours who were at the court said the community was angry. “If he had to come out on bail the community would have beaten him because we’re all angry at what he did,” said a friend and neighbour who did not want to be named.
The friend, who frequented their house, said on the morning of the incident there had been no indication that anything was wrong. “I still joked with her but there was no sign anything was wrong”.
The neighbour said Ms Samuels had been a very quiet person. “She was a very loving person, especially towards her husband and children. She went above and beyond for them. She was hard working and worked for her family.”
Ms Beck said they were a happy family and shared happy times and said her daughter wanted the best for her family. “She was a very private person and was working for her family and loved her children very much.”
Ms Samuel’s funeral service will be held in Parkwood on Saturday March 13 and she will be cremated.
Mr Salam will appear in court again on Wednesday May 5 as the court still awaits post mortem results, crime scene pictures, video and other evidence.