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Kramat land claimants speak out

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The recent revelation of a final will and testament has created a new twist on the issue of land ownership in the most historic piece of land in the Muslim community, the Faure Kramat. VOC News was recently approached by the Hassim family, for an opportunity to shed light on their land claim but to also clarify the “distorted” records of two individuals whose efforts have led to the ownership of the land in question.

“It all started with the life of my grandfather, Imam Hassim Saibo who made his son, my father, Imam Mohammed Noor Hassim his successor,” Taliep Hassim, the last living son of Imam Noor Hassim began to explain.

“My grandfather was a reputable man in the community, at the time of his death, after years of studies not only on Islam but medicine and astronomy as well, he left behind a will for his children. It is nearly 60 years since his passing and due to family matters, the will had only been brought to surface of late. I am the last standing son of the late Imam and so, at my age of 76, I have taken the responsibility of executing my father’s will accordingly.”

Hassim, while wheelchair bound, has handed some of the responsibilities to his nephews whom have already gathered the necessary paper work.

Thabiet and Igsaan Raciet have, over the course of just a few years, gathered the relevant, legally binding documentation together for the execution of the will. However, due to the reasons for the will only being revealed now, authorities have taken over the case for the family to conduct an investigation.

The family approached VOC News to respond to the recent assertions that the sanctity of the Faure Kramat has come under threat, due to various land claims on the Zandvliet farm.

“We want people to understand that we are not claiming land in Kramat to take away the heritage of the Muslim community in the Cape, in fact, we want to continue developing the community as stipulated in the Will. My grandfather stood for enhancing the lives of those in our communities and for that reason and that reason only, we found it of high importance that we carry out his wishes,” said Thabiet.

Igsaan called on some individuals within the community to discontinue the spread of false rumours surrounding the history of Imam Mohammed Noor Hassim. According to Igsaan, there have been reports on the internet that his grandfather was guilty of mismanaging the property while other individuals referred to his grandfather as “illiterate”.

“We need the people who are guilty of these rumours to take it down immediately. We have, in our possession, records of our grandfather and great grandfather’s achievements throughout their lives. However, they were not people who wanted to be recognised for that reason. I also have an Islamic textbook which my grandfather had written and it was published. At the time, they wrote in dutch and here, we have an original copy,” Igsaan explained.

In conclusion, Taliep added that he will be meeting with the people residing in the Kramat/Massacar area to clear any misconceptions that they might have regarding the land claims.

“We have never asked these people for a cent so why would we do so now. There are however individuals who are charging people a certain fee to live in Kramat. We do not know who those people are at this point in time. My father left behind a will that is not only for the benefit of his lineage but a benefit for the ummah. He wanted a clinic, school and even a university to be built on that land, how can we deny my father his last wish,” Taliep said. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)

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