Jameel Kader with his daughters, from left, Bibi Hafsa, Yusra, Sabah and Juwairiya. Picture: Supplied
Durban – As fathers were fêted nationally on Sunday, an Overport dad showed his ultimate love for his children by taking the full force of a hijacker’s bullet to protect them.
And despite being shot in the face, Jameel Kader, 37, was more concerned about his wife and four young daughters, who have hailed him a hero.
The brutal attack outside their home took place as concerns were voiced about criminals targeting Muslims, especially women and children, during Ramadaan.
Kader underwent eight hours of reconstructive surgery to his lower jaw on Monday.
The next few days were critical as Kader was on life support, said his cousin, Musher Khan.
Kader and his family were held up on Booth Avenue, Overport, on Sunday afternoon.
Khan said the diesel mechanic, his wife, Mehfooza, and children, Bibi Hafsa, Yusra, Sabah and Juwairiya, aged between 3 to 11, arrived home at about 4.30pm after spending Father’s Day at the Pavilion shopping centre.
“Because they were doing up their driveway, Jameel parked on the pavement outside their house. They exited the car, a Mercedes C Class, and were removing the groceries when two men approached, drew their firearms and demanded the keys to the car.
“Jameel was concerned for his family’s safety as these men were brandishing guns near them. They began to get aggressive and there was a scuffle. My cousin ended up throwing the car keys over the wall, on to his property,” said Khan, who added that one of the men then walked towards the family in a threatening manner.
“Fearing the worst, Jameel followed him and ended up pushing him. They both fell.
“The accomplice then came from behind and placed Jameel in a headlock. He put a gun to his head. During the tussle, I think the gun moved from his head to his jaw. That’s when he was shot.”
He said Kader’s family, who were screaming and crying for help, witnessed the shooting.
“Mehfooza saw (the assailants) run down the road and jump into a car.”
Khan said witnesses later told them the hijackers got into a blue Hyundai Getz with NUZ number plates.
He said the bullet had entered Kader’s cheek and exited his jaw.
“Jameel was still conscious after the shooting and remained concerned about his family. Being Father’s Day, he had shown his ultimate love for his wife and children by protecting them against hardened criminals and taking a bullet.”
He said doctors had told the family that Kader, who was fasting during the holy month of Ramadaan, was lucky to be alive.
“His wife and …