The Imam Abdullah Haron exhibition opened its doors to the public yesterday at the Dulcie September Civic Centre in Athlone. This mobile exhibition will proceed to the Al-Jamia Masjied in Stegman Road, Claremont and from there it will go on to visit 30 museums across the province. The event is hosted by the Imam Haron Foundation and supported by the provincial Cultural Affairs and Sport Department. Speaking to VOC, foundation chairperson Cassiem Khan explains that the exhibition will include 20 panels showcasing the life of Imam Abdullah Haron, killed in police detention during apartheid on the 27th September 1969.
“People can both visually and through text, in a simplified way, get to see the entire life and this will be a travelling exhibit. Which hopefully will be taken into schools, into various communities to have ongoing education on the life of our slain Imam Abdullah Haron,” he said.
The exhibition comes at a decisive time – this week it was announced that Imam Haron’s gravesite in Mowbray and the Stegman road mosque have been declared as heritage sites. Imam Haron spent 15 years at the Al Jamia masjid where he created a space of the free flow of political and social ideas.
Haron’s daughters Shamela Shamis and Fatima Masoet-Haron attended the event and was overwhelmed by the support that the Foundation and the department had shown to keep the legacy of their father alive. The Haron family has joined forces with other martyr families to have the inquests into the lives of their lost loved ones reopened.
The 12th of September marked the 42nd anniversary of the death of the Black Consciousness Movement leader Steve Bantu Biko, who left behind a son, Nkosinathi, who would never have the privilege of growing up with his father – a hard truth the Haron siblings know all too well.
High Court Judge Siraj Desai commented that this exhibition must act as a reminder that the judiciary system South Africa was left with post-Apartheid, is a disgraceful one that overlooked the heinous crimes committed against humanity. He added that people need to place pressure on the Justice Minister and National Director of Public Prosecutions to reopen the inquests into the deaths of the Apartheid martyrs.
Khan added that the foundation will be hosting other events later in the year. In conjunction with cricket clubs of the Western Cape, a tournament will be held on the 28th of September, which coincides with the day after Imam Haron’s killing. At City Park Stadium, a rugby tournament will be held and supported by rugby clubs across the province.
The Foundation is also hosting an Art Competition with the deadline for submissions extended to the 12th of September 2019.
Khan commented on the exhibition saying that it should make the people reflect on the society of today.