Islamia College unveiled two public landmarks commemorating the lives of Imam Abdullah Haron and all others who died in apartheid detention as well as those who rebelled against the unjust regime. The landmarks have been erected in Cape Town as commemorative boards at both the Islamia College, located in Imam Haron Road in Lansdowne, as well as outside of the kramat of Shaykh Mohamed Hassen Ghaibie Shah on Signal Hill. The aim of the landmarks is to keep the memory of all those who valiantly opposed the Apartheid regime alive.
“The idea of the commemorative board is that it’s the first board that has the names of all the people who died in detention under apartheid,” said CEO of Islamia College, Shaykh Sadullah Khan.
Various community figures, religious leaders and members of the Haron family were in attendance.
“Through this commemoration we reiterate that we are forever indebted to the many brave people who paid with their lives for a cause greater than themselves,” said Fatima Haron, the daughter of the slain imam.
According to Shaykh Khan, 117 names are on the one board, including those of struggle icons Steve Biko and Ahmed Timol.
“It is a reminder to never forget those who gave their lives during the apartheid struggle. Passers-by will be reminded of the great people who so selflessly and valiantly fought for justice at that time,” he said.
Representatives from several organisations, including the Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa and Awqaf South Africa, were present for the unveiling of the commemorative boards which took place on Wednesday.
While the board located in Lansdowne displays the names of those who died in detention, the one on Signal Hill was erected in remembrance of both the famous Imam as well as Reverend Bernie Wrankmore.
Reverend Wrankmore went on a fasted protest for a total of 67 days during apartheid, demanding that a commission of inquiry be launched into the death – or what many regard as the killing – of Imam Haron while under police detention.
The reverend died at the age of 86 in 2011.
Both Stegman Road Masjid in Claremont, the masjid Imam Haron belonged to, as well as Imam Haron’s grave, have been declared as heritage sites.
The unveiling of the landmark forms part of a 123 day campaign to mark the 50th year since Imam Haron’s passing. The campaign culminates on the 27th September, the day he died in police detention. Shaykh Khan is expected to deliver a jumuah khutbah at Islamia masjid on Friday to commemorate Imam Haron’s life.
Photo credits: Imam Haron Foundation