Sunday, March 14, 2010

Profile- A South African Muslim Woman -Political Activist

'She fought a good fight'
March 13 2010 at 09:16AM Get IOL on your
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By Fiona Gounden and Carvin Goldstone

Political activist Fatima Meer has died, aged 81.

Family and friends were distraught last night at the news of the death of the freedom-struggle stalwart at Durban's St Augustine's Hospital after suffering another stroke yesterday.

Meer, who lived in Burnwood Road, Sydenham, is survived by her daughters, Shamim and Shenaaz, and five grandchildren.

Her son, Rashid, died in a car accident in 1995 and her husband Ismail died in 2000.

Her funeral will be held at her home between 9am and 12 noon today and thereafter there will be a memorial service at the Durban Exhibition Centre between 1pm and 3pm.

Shamim Meer yesterday said that they were conducting prayers at the mosque and the family really missed her.

Meer was the founder member of the Institute for Black Research and her close friend of 25 years, Ramesh Bharuthram, who is the vice-chairman, said she was a woman of substance.

"I knew her for a long time and she was an amazing woman with lots of energy."

eThekwini deputy mayor Logie Naidoo said: "She will be recorded in South African history as a stalwart who championed the cause."

The chairman of the 1860 Legacy Foundation and president of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha, Ashwin Trikamjee, added: "Even after the struggle, Meer continued with her fight for liberation and the rights of the oppressed. Her fearlessness is a quality that I will never forget."

Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said: "It is a terrible loss but she can rest knowing she fought a good fight.

"Because of her intellect she was a formidable opponent of apartheid. A personal friend of Nelson Mandela, she kept the fires burning in the dark days."

Movie mogul Anant Singh said from New York last night: "Fatima Meer was one of the most exceptional women that I have ever met.

"We have been blessed to have had her in our lives.

"She was a shining light in the liberation movement, a defender of women's rights and a champion of the less advantaged people of our country. She was a woman of integrity and dignity.


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