Speaker, I worked with Imam Gassan Solomon. I knew him well. He was a man devoted to democracy and human welfare. In the years of our bitter struggle for freedom, he stood up to the apartheid regime. More than that, he was in the forefront where the danger was the greatest. He survived all that. However, cancer is an enemy of another kind. I am certain he would have put up an enormous struggle, but it was not to be.
Imam Solomon took up where the late Imam Abdullah Haroon had left off. He injected new political activism within the Muslim community. It was not easy for him to publicly denounce apartheid and the repugnant system of politics based on racism. However, he was fervent in this regard. We must also remember just how much emphasis he placed on transparency and democracy.
In our new democratic order, we should not forget the importance of transparency and democracy. Power corrupts. The only way to prevent this is for each of us to remain vigilant and to be uncompromising in respect of transparency and democracy.
This is how we can be true to the memory of our departed comrade. This is how we can be true to our own values. Hope does not wish to dwell on the sorrow of the occasion. The triumph of the life of the late Imam Gassan Solomon is what we should be celebrating today.
Let his family and all of South Africa know that what he has left behind will live forever in the years to come. We cherish him in our midst, now and in the future. We will continue to cherish him in our minds and our thoughts.
Hamba kahle, Imam. [Rest in peace, Imam.]
You were a pillar amongst us, and through your work and courage, you will remain a pillar of our cherished democracy. Thank you. [Applause.]