Imam Haron’s Inquest | An Opportunity to Right Past Wrongs
The reopened inquest into the death of the late anti-Apartheid activist, Imam Abdullah Haron, after more than 53 years, promises to unveil the guile and brutality of the Apartheid regime. The Western Cape High Court heard reports and revelations made by the Imam’s family and other witnesses that reveal a starkly different narrative to that of the official apartheid regime’s version.
Imam Haron died in a police cell on 27 September 1969, after 123 days of solitary confinement and daily interrogations about his involvement in the struggle against the racist system of Apartheid. The State alleged that the Imam died after falling down a flight of stairs at the Caledon Police Station, now known as Cape Town Police Station. Circumstances surrounding his sudden death coupled with dubious pathological reports suggest an alleged cover up of murder by the then Security Branch very much in keeping with how other activists ‘died’ while in State custody. An expert witness in the reopened inquest said that the Imam’s injuries were not consistent with Security Branch’s explanation that he died due to injuries sustained while falling down the steps.
Imam Haron was under the mentorship of Sheikh Malik Al-Alawi while he was in Makkah. He was Hafiz of the Quran who derived his solace and strength from the Quran. He was a member of the Muslim Judicial Council and served as Imam of the Al Jaamia masjid. It is regrettable that more was not done to demand the release of the Imam at that time. The legacy of Imam Haron calls upon Ulama to get more involved in social justice issues such as anti -poverty and GBV.
May the Almighty fill his grave with forgiveness and mercy and may Allah grant the family the fortitude to withstand the potential pain and trauma that the inquest may unearth and refresh.
Y Patel (Moulana)
23 Rabial Thaani 1444 / 18 November 2022