Moerat Family

Author: Boeta Moosa Patel (Snr)

I enquired about Auntie Myla’s family tree and she informed me that their actual surname was Walport, and not Moerat. According to her knowledge, her great- grandfather, originally came from Holland. This certain man embraced Islam and married a Moerat woman. He forfeited his own surname and adopted the surname of his wife. Their son, Boeta Dienie (Salamodien), married Mymoena (known to everybody as Auntie Galieya). Boeta Dienie was, according to Auntie Myla, a very proud man. He decorated the wagons and carriages, which were manufactured by members of the Domingo family. They resided at the foot of Paarl Mountain. They had eight children. The eldest was Ma Atieka (known as Matieka). She married a very learned Muslim person, known as Ammie Shaam Effendi. Ammie Shaam was the son of the famous Abu Bakr Effendi, who came from Turkey to teach the Hanafi Mathahab to the Muslims of Cape Town. In fact, Ammie Shaam’s brother, Achmat Effendi, became the best known of the Effendi family, because of his political involvement, while he was staying in Cape Town and Kimberley. A former colleague of mine, the late Dr Achmat Davids researched the history of Abu Bakr and Achmat Effendi and wrote about them in his book “Mosques of the Bo-Kaap”.

The second eldest child of Boeta Dienie and Auntie Galieya was also a daughter. She was Fatima (later known as Nana). Then there was Galatie, Gadija or Amatie, also known as Hai Aggie, who later married Hadji Mannie Abrahams, a tailor. The eldest son was Achmat (Boeya), Auntie Myla’s father and also my wife’s grandfather. Then followed Auntie Kiya, who later married a Laatoe of Cape Town. They then had another son, Mogammad. He later became known as Imam Gammie, whom we’ll discuss again. Then there was a girl named Zainab (Nappie), the mother of the Kamaldien family. The youngest was a son, Jaynie, who moved to Cape Town until his demise.

The next family we discussed was Auntie Myla’s parents, and her siblings. Her father, Hadjie Achmat Moerat had two sons, Noor and Aziz, from his first marriage to Ma Nonnie. Boeta Noor had a daughter, from his first marriage to Galatie and Hadjie Mannie’s daughter, Fatima. The daughter, Mymoena Toefy was the mother of Loetfieya, Aslam and Nazeem. There are also three children, presently staying in Wynberg, who were the children of Sis Gadija, who originated from Sierra Leone. I had the good fortune to visit the home of Gafsa, Amiera and Fuad Moerat in Ross Road, Wynberg, to obtain a copy of a very historical photograph of Auntie Galieya and all eight of her children. The photograph is more than a hundred years old and is on display on my website. Hadjie Aziz Moerat was known for his transport business in Brooklyn and Maitland. His sons are still in the transport trade.

Hadjie Achmat’s second marriage was to Oemmie Fatima, a Brenner lady from Constantia, who had one son, Moerrie, from a previous marriage. Hadja Fatima settled in Paarl with her husband and they had no less than 12 children. The eldest was Jaynie, then Gadija (Poppie), followed by Abbas, Alie, Jamiela (Myla), Saadia, Sedick and Shaakier (who both died at childhood), Mariam, Moutie, Adam and a twin Gouwa (who was lost as a baby), Abu Bakr (Abubie), and Nazeema (Nessie). Of the dozen, only three are presently alive, namely Auntie Myla (99), Uncle Abubie (83) and Auntie Nessie (81). Auntie Nessie was married to the late Sheikh Abdurrazak Najaar. Their son, Sheikh Thaafier Najaar is a well known personality in Cape Town. The late Sheikh Nazeem Mohammed, another well known personality in Cape Town, was the son of Auntie Poppie and a grandson of the late Hadjie Achmat and Hadja Fatima Moerat.

Isn’t it strange how many leading figures in Cape Town that I have mentioned had their roots in these families in Paarl? My wife was the eldest daughter of Hadjie Adam Moerat and Hadja Yasmiena (nee Meyer).

If we now analyse the families of the siblings of Auntie Myla we again come across a very rich family history. The eldest, Boeta Jaynie (Zainudien, I presume), also had children from different marriages, most of them from Auntie Asa (nee Latief). There was Sedick (Dickie), who married Hajiera (Jierra), Fatima (who married Sulaiman (Sullie) Gardner, Darwiesa, Achmat (who married Gadija (nee Brown), Jamiela (Sielie), who married Saaid (Aitjie, a brother-in-law of Auntie Myla), Jaamia, Abdullah (who married Aafie, nee Saban of Wynberg), Mymoena (who became my sister-in-law), Ebrahim (married to Laila). Doeriya, Gadija (who married Ashie Misbagh) and passed away in Makkah. The youngest are Faieka and Nazeem.

Auntie Poppie’s first husband was Boeta Ebrahim “Fisher” Mohammed. He was known as Fisher because of his trade in fresh fish. In fact he brought the fish business to the Moerat family in Paarl. They had three sons and three daughters. The eldest was Naziema (Klein Nessie), Sheikh Nazeem, Rushdi, Farieda, Alie and Faiza. The latter is married to Sayed Ghalieb and residing in Jeddah. After the demise of Boeta Ebrahim, Auntie Poppie married Boeta Noor Majied and Auntie Poppie gave birth to Gamiem, Maghadie and Alawhie. Auntie Poppie gave birth to Alawhie on board a boat, called Alawhie, when she returned from Hajj. Auntie Poppie was best known in Cape Town for her work in the Moulood Jama’ats. Sheikh Nazeem, besides being a long time president of the Cape Muslim Judicial Council, was also a Cape Town city councillor during the apartheid years. He was also a founder member of the community radio station, the Voice of the Cape.

Hadjie Abbas married Auntie Rugaya (nee Abrahams), the daughter of Imam Mustapha Abrahams. Their eldest daughter, Gadijah, married Waaghied Hendricks of Wellington. Her husband was one of the heroes of the rugby club, Vineyards, which was established in 1944, playing with six Moerat brothers and some cousins and brothers-in-law. Hadjie Abbas and Auntie Gaya also raised Yusuf, Sedick, Sheikh Moutie, Fouzia and Nazeema. One daughter passed away early. Yusuf, married to Rhoda (nee Latief), is presently the president of the Paarl Muslim Jama’at, while Sheikh Moutie was the senior Imam of Paarl until he moved to Cape Town.

Hadjie Alie married Hadja Jaynie (nee Latief). Their children are Ikhraam, Marwaan, Addenaan and Niyaama. One son, Shu’ayb, passed away at childhood. Hadjie Alie’s sons still carry on the family fishing trade. Ikhraam and Marwaan were members of the rugby team, Proteas, that toured Great Britain, in the early 70s.

Auntie Saadia had one daughter Goolie from her first marriage to Gulam Gool of Cape Town. From her second marriage to Abdurraghman Dollie, she had Faizel, Fadeela, Aziza, Yumna, Zaida, Nadeema and Awaatief. Goolie married Sedick, son of Boeta Abbas and Auntie Gaya Moerat. Faizel married Washiela (nee Rhoda). Fadeela married Moosa Allie (formerly from Cape Town). Aziza married Abdullatief “Awam” Richards, from the old Richards family of Paarl. Yumna married Ikhraam Fortuin. Zaida married Ebrahim “Iebbie” Allie, a nephew of Moosa. Nadeema “Diemie” married Sataar Carriem. Awaatief, the youngest, married Moosa Memmon of Cape Town.

Boeta Moutie married Auntie Mariam (nee Van der Merwe) before the apartheid years. Their children were Fatima, Abeloeda, Laamie, Boebie, Gadija and Jamiela. Abeloeda passed away from a stomach problem, while in his twenties. Fatima married Abdullah, the grandson of Hadjie Mannie and Galatie (Auntie Myla’s aunt). Laamie was married in Wellington to Rashieda and passed away from a heart attack. Boebie is married to his cousin, Soudah, the daughter of Auntie Mariam and Boeta Esa Abrahams. Gadija is married to Walied Knight, while Jamiela is married to Safaat Khan.

Auntie Mariam married Boeta Esa Abrahams a Muslim slaughterer. Their children were Heshaam, Achmat (Broertjie), Akiel, Taarieq and Naeela. Boeta Esa himself was a good rugby player, who initiated the establishment of the Vineyards rugby club in 1944. He was the chairperson of the Breda Street Mosque until 1964, when unity came and he became the president of the Paarl Muslim Jama’at. He was a son of Boeta Gamat “Asma” and Auntie Gabieba. Their one son, Broertjie, became a national rugby player, when he played for the South African Rugby Federation. He was also a national Table-Tennis player.

Hadjie Adam married Yasmina (nee Meyer) and they had many children. The eldest was Aneesa (my wife). Then followed Zarina (Rienie), Shaakier, Faiza, Gayaat, Nawhaal, Mogammad Abbas and Nadeema. A few, such as Faghrie, died while very young. Two of them, Rienie and Gayaat, passed away from heart attacks. As I mentioned, the eldest, Aneesa became my wife in 1958. Rienie married Shamieg Khan, son of school principal, Hadjie Gamied and Sis Gadie Khan. Shaakier married Asa (nee Van der Schyff) and remarried a widow, Zarina Patel. Faiza married Riefaat Jassiem, formerly from Cape Town. Gayaat married Ebrahim “Smallie” Samsodien from Cape Town. Nawhaal married Yusuf “Sonnie” Nordien of Uitenhage. Mogammad married Rachmat (nee Davids) of Cape Town. Nadeema, the youngest, married Sheikh Rafieq Nackerdien (son of Hadjie Manie and Hadja Kulsom Nackerdien), who died in a car accident. Afterwards, Diemie remarried Rashaad Fredericks of Cape Town.

Hadjie Abubie married Hadja Kariema. He had one daughter Asma, from a previous marriage to Washeela. Saadia, Nazeem, Zaid and Malieka are the other children. Malieka is residing in Jeddah, where she is married to Mansoor, the son of Faiza and Sayed Ghalieb, and the grandson of Auntie Poppie. Nazeem, in turn, is married to Gayaat, the granddaughter of Hadjie Adam and Hadja Yasmina, that means the daughter of his own cousin, Shaakier. Nazeem played for the South African Rugby Union. Saadia married Sabrie Davids of Cape Town. Hadja Kariema passed away in 1907.

Auntie Nessie, the youngest of the Moerat siblings, married Sheikh Abdurrazak Najaar. Their children are Fatima (Meirie), Achmat, Riedwaan, Abied, Thaafier, Haaniem, Atoefa, Kaadiema and Raaghieb. Achmat was accidentally shot and killed at the Waterfront in Cape Town in the 1980s. Sheikh Thaafier is most probably the best known in Cape Town. Riedwaan was staying in Kensington. Sheikh Thafier is married to Yasmine, nee Van der Schyff. Sheik Abdurrazak passed away shortly before his 90th birthday in 2008.

We have now discussed three generations of Boeya and Oemmie’s family. By now there is already a fourth, fifth and sixth generation, if I take my own offspring into account. I consider it wiser to move onto the other families of Boeya’s brother, Imam Gammie and sisters, Gadija (Galatie) and Zainab (Auntie Nappie).

Imam Gammie Moerat

Imam Gammie married Hadja Sietie (nee Latief). Their eldest son was Boeta Shamsudien, who married Hadja Fatima of Cape Town. They had a daughter Yasminah and a son, Nawhaawhie. The second eldest was Boeta Moenief, who married Aunty Liemie. They had a daughter, Afiefa and a son, Gielmie, both presently resident in Kensington. Boetie Abdullatief married Auntie Fatima of Cape Town. Auntie Zainab (Siesie) married Dr Warlie of Kimberley. They had a daughter, Rushda and a son, Maajied. Tietie Mymoena married my brother, Achmad Patel, and had no offspring. Boeta Moghammad Noor married Gadija (Makieya, nee Booley). They are residing in Wynberg. I had to travel to Wynberg to interview this ex-principal, who is over eighty years of age, in order to gain more information about family history. Boeta Noor and Auntie Makieya tragically lost their only son, a doctor, when he was murdered in his surgery some years ago. They have two daughters Noura and Abeeda. The youngest son of Imam Gammie and Hai Sietie is Imam Naaim, who married Hadja Asma (Esme, nee Maymen), the granddaughter of the late Boeta Gamat Asma and Sis Gabieba Abrahams. The couple have a daughter named Nooruruddah and a son, Haafiz Sheikh Mogammad, named after his grandfather and his great-grandfather (Abrahams).