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‘It was a criminal act’: Family of murdered Durban mom refutes political link to murder

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The family of a slain Durban woman denied that her murder was linked to political or religious beliefs.

Glenmore resident Halima Hoosen-Preston was murdered in her home, allegedly by Grayson James Beare. Picture: Facebook

THE FAMILY of a slain Durban woman denied that her murder was linked to political or religious beliefs.

Her husband said he believes the attack was purely a criminal attack and should be treated at such.

Halima Hoosen-Preston was killed in her home earlier this month, while her husband and son were critically wounded.

At the time, it was reported that a knife-wielding man entered the family’s Glenmore home and stabbed Hoosen-Preston, fatally wounding her. Her husband and son were also attacked and both were rushed to hospital in critical condition.

Speculation was rife that the alleged attack was spurred by Hoosen-Preston’s support for Palestine.

The suspect, Grayson James Beare, has since appeared in court and has been remanded in custody.

In a statement released on Sunday, Hoosen-Preston’s husband, Sean Preston, said the motive was purely criminal.

Grayson James Beare. Picture: NPA

“I would therefore like to clarify that in as much as the accused has tried to justify his actions, citing comments Halima supposedly made to provoke this heinous crime, from our perspective as a family, this is not a political or religious matter,” he said.

“This is purely a criminal matter, and we want it to be treated as such.”

Responding to a viral video in which Beare claims to have attacked Hoosen-Preston because she laughed at his cousins who were supposedly murdered in the ongoing Gaza attacks.

“The accused was, at most an acquaintance of ours and someone we had last seen in around 2019, so the comments he has made in a video which went viral are baseless,” Preston said.

“Halima was well-aware of the fact that what’s going on in Palestine has nothing to do with Muslim-Jewish relations, and she enjoyed friendships with individuals from diverse faith backgrounds, including Muslim, Jewish and Christian,” he said.

“She was a peace-loving individual, who respected all religions. In fact, when Halima expressed her views regarding Palestine to her loved ones, she was careful to emphasise that this wasn’t an attack on a singular religion, but rather an attack on humanity.”

He added that the family have since given their statements to the police and cannot comment further on the matter.

“The police have given us our space because the injuries have been critical and the whole family is in trauma but we will be speaking to them soon, and until that happens, we are going to limit what we say,” he said.

Preston described his wife as a strong woman who loved her children.

“She was a faithful friend to many, a confidante to her kids and a daughter to her mother-in-law and father-in-law. If you needed support or any kind of help, she was there for you,” Preston said.

“As a wife, she was loving. We were together for 25 years and we had a very strong, loving relationship. We felt that we were one another’s soul mates. She loved her kids and she would do anything for them. In fact she loved all kids and loved everyone in general – that’s the kind of person she was.”

The family have since asked for privacy.

Meanwhile, Beare, who faces a charge of murder and two counts of attempted murder, is due back in court on June 11, following a mental assessment.

The National Prosecuting Authority in KwaZulu-Natal said the State is opposed to bail.

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