Speaker, on behalf of the DA, I would like to associate myself with the motion of condolence for the late Imam Gassan Solomon. Imam Solomon was born in Constantia and attended that excellent school, South Peninsula High. In the 1960s, his family was forcibly removed from Constantia under the Group Areas Act. That, and the death in detention of Imam Abdullah Haron in 1969, had the effect of politicising Imam Solomon.
He was a founding member of the Muslim Student Association, MSA, and became Imam of the Claremont Main Road Mosque in 1979. In this capacity, he influenced a new generation of Muslim activists. He also played an important role in building the interfaith movement in opposition to apartheid. He became involved in The Call of Islam and in the activities of the United Democratic Front, UDF.
Imam Solomon spent some time in exile in Saudi Arabia before returning to help organise the ANC. He became an MP in 1994, and served on the Finance, Safety and Security, and Justice committees where we remember his gentle but thoughtful and penetrating questions and contributions. He was passionate about making justice accessible to the person in the street.
I will remember him in the streets of Grassy Park and Lotus River trying to make a difference to the lives of people who, like him, had given so much and not always received what they deserved.
He was a man of unshakable convictions and deep morals. This led him to a life of political activism, which he performed conscientiously, resolutely and enthusiastically. But at heart, he remained a modest and gentle man who touched the lives of those who knew him. We will miss his compassion and wisdom, and we are all the poorer for his passing.
We would like to convey our sympathy to his friends, family and to the ANC. [Applause.]