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The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) declares seven Karaamats (saints) in the Western Cape as national heritage sites

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By Kouthar Sambo

The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) has declared seven Karaamats (saints) in the Western Cape as national heritage sites.

Speaking on VOC’s In Conversation show on Wednesday, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Cape Mazaar Society, Yusuf Khan Dalwai, said this is a “big milestone” for the Cape Mazaar Society.

“The Muslim population in South Africa for this achievement that enables our karamats to be declared heritage. The Cape Mazaar Society together with our heritage ocnsultants submitted a nomination for all the 21 Karaamats in the Western Cape to be declared heritage,” explained Dalwai.

The nomination was done in phases, said Dalwai, as the first ten were previously declared in December 2021.

“A few days ago, an additional seven Karaamats has also been declared heritage, Alghamdulilah (praise be to God. This declaration has also been gazetted in the government gazette by SAHRA,” confirmed Dalwai.

The Karaamats, which are our forefathers, are of national significance, remarked Dalwai, for many reasons, including the importance and value they add to the community, showcases patterns in South Africa’s history, depicting cultural heritage.

“These Karaamats hold social, historical, religious, and spiritual significance. The circle of tombs around the Cape Peninsula displays an immense and tangible significance, and there’s a symbol of resistance, religious freedom, and perseverance,” detailed Dalwai.

“The Karaamats at the Cape is a place of sanctity, remembrance, and reflection, and the preservation of these Karaamats means giving them that status of acknowledgment, which is important to us,” added Dalwai.

Photo: Supplied

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