by Quinton Mtyala
Cape Town – Tributes have poured in following the death on Monday of Advocate Hishaam Mohamed, the former provincial head of the Justice Department, who had since 2019 been an ANC MP.
Mohamed, who was laid to rest on Tuesday, was raised in Grassy Park where he was a community activist in the surrounding communities since 1980s while he was still a student at UWC.
The janazah (funeral) proceedings started at around midday and with the procession allowing for all those touched throughout his long record of public service to say their final greetings.
A trained lawyer, Mohamed spearheaded the establishment of the Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre, dispensing legal advice to impoverished communities who would usually not have access to the legal system.
Saliem Mohamed, his brother, said Hishaam was always available to assist those in need. He said his brother was about service to the community and the country.
“What brought him the most happiness was to be of service. He would insist on being of service. It was very dear to him.”
ANC Western Cape co-ordinator, Ronalda Nalumango, said: “He was a man of integrity who stood for justice and truth. He didn’t mind standing alone on the issues. He was also passionate in the fight against gender-based violence.”
In a statement, the ANC Caucus in Parliament said Mohamed was a “dedicated and unselfish cadre of our movement and servant of the people”.
Independent Media executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé also recalled Mohamed, who he had known, as a community worker dedicated to uplifting the communities of Lotus River and Grassy Park.
“Two weeks ago, he came to me to ask for support for the community. It’s a massive loss for the Western Cape.
“He was committed to the community. He was principled, he fought for people without expecting anything in return. He gave up a lucrative position to serve in Parliament.
“It’s not just a loss for the ANC but also a loss for the country because he would have gone on to become a minister.
“He was a strong believer that we need to keep up reporting on corruption. He was committed to making a difference. This is a huge loss to our society,” said Survé.
Mohamed was 55 years old and is survived by his widow, two sons and a daughter.