24 Dhul Qa’dah 1438 AH • 17 August 2017

Colleagues and friends mourn the untimely death of Shaheed Omar

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By Thakira Desai

While the manhunt for the unknown suspects involved in the fatal shooting of the nephew of struggle stalwart Dullah Omar continues, those who knew him personally, describe him as a “gentle soul”. Shaheed Omar, also the son of Dr Adam Omar of Mabel Road, Rylands, was shot during an apparent attempted hijacking at the corner of Govan Mbeki Road and Jan Smuts Drive near Ottery on Thursday evening.

The South African Police Services captain FC van Wyk confirmed that the circumstances surrounding the incident is under investigation.

An employee at Old Mutual Alternative Investments, Omar leaves a behind an empty seat amongst colleagues who in preparation for his untimely burial are unable to articulate their emotions at the loss of a man who has become nothing less than a friend.

Speaking to VOC News, COO of Alternative Business, Karin Du Toit described Omar, who joined the company in 2015, as a “gentle giant”, soft-spoken and a hardworking individual.

“Our fondest memory of him is him sitting at his desk doing his work and smiling when you ask him something; he is always positive, he is not upset when things go wrong [and]calmly asks how to fix the situation – he is 100 per cent reliable,” Steyn stated. Photo: Supplied

Echoing Du Toit’s sentiments, fellow colleague Lala Steyn, who worked with Omar on Old Mutual’s Schools Investment Fund, explains that Omar was a gentle individual who was “100 per cent reliable.”

“Our fondest memory of him is him sitting at his desk doing his work and smiling when you ask him something; he is always positive, he is not upset when things go wrong [and]calmly asks how to fix the situation – he is 100 per cent reliable,” Steyn stated. Photo: Supplied

While many of Omar’s colleagues have attended to his family in mourning, those in office were inconsolable and unable to speak to VOC during the interview.

“His closest colleagues sitting right next to me now are too overwhelmed to speak to [VOC], many of his closest colleagues are not here, [they are]with the family at the moment and [we are]just trying to process what has happened. We are deeply shocked and saddened by his passing,” Steyn elaborated.

Meanwhile, colleague Kgothatso Meka, who has worked with Omar for some three years, described him as “one of the kindest souls” whom he has met and someone who both practically and ethically adhered to the principles of Islam.

Meka further notes that during non-work related discussions, Omar was known to beam with pride when he spoke of his wife and his daughter.

Given rampant speculation on social media regarding the details surrounding the apparent failed hijacking of Omar, with many speculating that he died as a result of a direct hit on his life, Meka said during his recent interaction with Omar, he did not allude to being fearful of a threat against his life.

“He certainly was not that sort of guy and no one was aware of anything of that manner. That is something that we definitely won’t be able to speak to.”

In a statement shared internally, Old Mutual employees were alerted to Omar’s passing, the news being met with shock and sadness by his grieving colleagues.

Photo: Supplied

“Old Mutual would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family. To his wife, his daughter, his parents, and the other family, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time,” said Du Toit.

VOC 91.3fm

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