Pictured: Saeeda Akobi Jjou Stu, 54, who died on Monday
Two heartbroken removalists with coronavirus who provoked outrage by travelling to regional New South Wales have paid tribute to their mother who was found dead in their family home, after testing positive to the virus three days earlier.
Saeeda Akobi Jjou Stu’s lifeless body was discovered at the five-bedroom home she shared with her husband, daughter, twin sons Roni and Ramsin Shawka and their partners in Green Valley, in the city’s southwest, at around 9.15 on Monday morning.
That evening, touching tributes for the 54-year-old mum with a ‘sweet laugh’ flooded social media.
Roni, 27, who is accused of knowing he had coronavirus while travelling through Orange last week, called his mother ‘his life’.
‘Mama, my love, you are my life,’ he wrote in a heartfelt comment which attracted hundreds of people to the post to offer condolences.
‘Mama, you are my comfort and my life, Mama’.
His twin brother Ramsin did not write a tribute, but changed his Facebook profile picture to a photograph of his smiling mother – a gesture which garnered hundreds of bittersweet comments.
Pictured: Roni (left) and Ramsin (right) Shawka, who lost their mother on Monday morning after she died from Covid-19 – days after they were accused of driving around regional NSW despite being told they had tested positive to the virus
Three family members who were living and isolating in the home, which is in Sydney’s Covid ‘epicentre’ in the southwest, were ordered to their cars after police made the grim discovery
One person remembered Saeeda as ‘a mother with a kind heart and a sweet laugh’.
Another wrote: ‘She doesn’t deserve it, may God give you patience for her loss, my son Ramsen and the rest of your life.’
Batnaya Chaldean Association, a religious organisation near the family home, also penned an emotional tribute to the doting mother.
‘The deceased (Saeeda Akobi Jjou Stu) has passed away in Sydney, a Patriot of Adel Habo Belhad Shuka’s wife and mother of Rommel Roni Ramsen Rita Ranin Shuka,’ the post read.
‘A candle for the intention of the deceased, pray for it, and our warm condolences from the Association of Battaya Chaldean Sydney to the family of the deceased.’
Pictured: Ramsin with his mother Saeeda, who passed away from Covid-19 on Monday in their family home in Sydney’s south-west
Ramsin and his twin brother Roni have been left shattered by their mother’s passing (pictured together)
The post drew more than 3,000 comments from community members sending best wishes to the family.
‘My beloved neighbour, your departure is a shock… Condolences to your poor husband, children and loved ones,’ one person wrote.
Neighbours said the beloved mum had only tested positive for the disease three days earlier and had barely shown any symptoms.
The family all lived under the same roof – including the 27-year-old twins and their partners (pictured with their mother)
Pictured: Ramsin (left) and his twin brother Roni with their partners at an event. Both men have Covid-19 and are accused of travelling through regional NSW despite being aware of that
The family (pictured) are extremely close and have a tight-knit community in Sydney’s southwest
NSW Health confirmed she was the latest ‘Covid-related death’ to hit the state during the brutal second wave of the virus.
‘They were a lovely family,’ one neighbour told Daily Mail Australia.
‘They would always smile at you and wave as they drove past. They are very nice, very friendly.
‘You’d see kids playing in the front garden at the weekends and they parked their removal truck down the side.’
The family had only moved into the area about 18 months ago after snapping up the expansive detached home for $925,000 in December 2019.
Generations of the tragic Shawka family (pictured) all lived together under the same roof before Covid killed the mother of the two removalists who travelled to regional NSW while infected
The 54 year old mother of Roni and Ramsin Shawka, 27, was found dead at their home in Thursday Place (pictured) in Green Valley in Sydney’s south-west around 9.15am on Monday
The five bedroom, three bathroom, two storey house was home to the dead woman and her husband, their twin sons, their partners and their sister, said neighbours.
As news spread of the mother’s sudden death, other family members flocked to the scene but were kept at a distance by police who locked down the whole street.
One of the family’s cousins was among those who were turned away and was consoled by neighbours.
‘It’s a huge shock,’ said one neighbour. ‘You see all the stories about Covid on television but to have a case on your street and for someone to die in their home, it’s a bit scary.
‘One of the other neighbours is also Assyrian like the Shawkas and they spoke to the family. They said the mother didn’t even know she had Covid – she had hardly any symptoms, they said.
Neighbours said the woman had only tested positive for the disease three days earlier and had barely shown any symptoms. Seen here is the street in lockdown where the family live
‘She tested positive and now three days later she’s dead. She wasn’t even old – just 54. It’s an awful tragedy.’
Another added: ‘They were hard-working people and kept the house beautifully. The front yard was always in perfect condition.’
The entire street was declared a crime scene at about 9.30am and two police cars remained by 5pm.
Following the grim discovery, residents in nearby houses were reportedly told the entire street has been placed under ‘hard lockdown’ as investigations into the death continue.
A report is being prepared for the coroner and inquiries are continuing.
The twins both posted emotional messages and pictures online with their beloved mum (pictured)
The family were liked in their street and regularly parked their removal truck down the side of the house. Seen here is the outside of the family home in Green Valley in Sydney’s south-west
Her tragic death came just days after her boys, who are both 27 and work as third-party contractors for a large western Sydney removalist firm, faced fines of $11,000 and six months in jail for their jaunt through regional NSW.
The brothers were part of a four-man removalist crew who drove to Figtree near Wollongong on Thursday for a job.
Their employer Aram Yousif then told them they must get tested for Covid-19 under new restrictions brought in by the NSW government.
The new measures require ‘essential workers’ from Fairfield, Liverpool and the Canterbury-Bankstown areas to undergo regular tests if they are to leave their Local Government Areas – now the epicente of Sydney’s outbreak which has climbed to 1,242 infections.
After getting tests under these rules, workers only need to isolate if they have symptoms, something all of the men say they didn’t experience.
Having got their tests, the removalists left Sydney again at 4am the following day, driving down the M4 from West Hoxton to Molong, stopping at South Bowenfels and Orange.
The four-man removalist crew were already in Orange when NSW Health called to inform Roni that he had tested positive to the highly contagious Indian Delta strain. Seen here is a map of their route
The crew were already in Orange when NSW Health called to inform Roni that he had tested positive to the highly contagious Indian Delta strain, but with the language barrier proving challenging, he told the NSW Health worker to contact his boss Mr Yousif.
Mr Yousif received the call which instructed him to tell Roni he needed to isolate in the cabin of their removal truck.
He claims there was no mention about what should happen to the other men, who were not showing any symptoms.
‘These guys have not broken any rules. We just followed the instructions, we have not done anything wrong by the public … but whatever a court decides we will accept,’ he said.
Shortly after they left the job in regional NSW, Ramsin Shawka and Maryo Shanki also returned returned positive tests.
At this point, NSW Health ordered a police escort to usher the group back to western Sydney.
One of the family’s cousins was among those who were turned away and was consoled by neighbours, while infected family were told to wait in cars (pictured)
Police allege the crew kept driving to Molong, further west, to finish off their delivery before being escorted home by cops after two more of the men tested positive.
The twins have now been charged with breaching public health orders and are set to face Orange Local Court on August 30.
But Roni, who moved to Australia from Iraq, has said they are not to blame and he had not known he was Covid-positive.
‘Of course I feel very bad, I feel very bad for what I have done, but it’s not my fault. I was driving and he called me from the health department, he told me to stop working and go home, I was already in Orange,’ Roni told the Daily Telegraph.
‘I gave them the number of my boss, I told them my language is not very good. I did not kill someone… I was doing my work, I swear to god I didn’t know I was positive.’