Posted on November 24, 2022
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
We praise Allah سبحانه وتعالى Most High, Salutation upon our Master, Nabi .
November 24, 2022
IMAM ABDULLAH HARON INQUEST
The long-awaited inquest into the death of Imam Abdullah had started and concluded for this year and will resume in the new year, 2023. While many had been waiting with bated breath, the relived pain and horror for many during this inquest was not only overwhelming and a shock, but it was also emotionally taxing, especially for the family, opening so many partially healed wounds.
The inquest is not the first in relation to Imam, however the previous inquest in 1970 was dubious to say the least. Shoddy pathology reports, incomplete investigations, and intimidations were somewhat the “manier waarop dinge gedoen was” at the time. We heard the forensic pathologist Dr Steve Naidoo stating that, the severity of the bruising Imam had suffered while in detention was likely caused by repetitively being assaulted. By being kicked, punched, and battered with objects such as police batons. This narrative is starkly contrary to the Security Branch stating, as if it be gospel, that the Imam had fallen off the flight of stairs, which resulted in injuries leading to his death at the Maitland Police Station.
The last surviving police official that had seen Imam alive, Officer Johannes Burger, gave a testimony that was garbed in dualism. Elusive and indirect was just some of the thoughts that came to mind, while simultaneously shedding tears for the deceased, stating that on a human level they spoke about family, Imam’s health, and the pain on the left side of Imam’s body. Yet the officer claimed being unaware of the actions done by the Security Branch in relation to detainees, a rumour that was well known in Apartheid South Africa at the time.
The tumultuous nature of this inquest could be seen by the demeanour of the Haron family, and the testimony given by them. The immense grief and sadness the son of the Imam, Professor Muhammad Haron, balled up with his head in his hands staring down, is but one such moment during the proceedings. The tactic at the time lead many, including members of the Haron family to believe the imam was tortured to his death. The testimony given by other anti-apartheid activists were jaw dropping. The Imam, a symbol of righteousness and justice became that of warning and caution to all caught and interrogated by the Security Branch. From testimony given in this inquest: –That is Spyker van Wyk. You know what he did to Imam Haron. – Jeremy Cronin (Anti- Apartheid Activist).
We the MJC (SA), Muslim community of the Cape and all South Africans are pleased that this inquest is underway. We continue keeping all in our prayers and request our community to follow the inquest in the new year, show support to the Haron family, and attend the proceedings come 2023. The MJC (SA) encourages all those who lost loved ones during the apartheid period to follow suit as did the Haron family, and we pray that more inquests will be facilitated by our Justice Department.
We pray that the Imam, his family, and all touched by the events of 1969 and throughout the struggle years for the liberation of South Africa, receive the justice that is deserving of them. A justice called Truth.