Anti-apartheid activist and ANC veteran dies on New Year’s Day
By Shakirah Thebus 14m ago
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Cape Town – Anti-apartheid activist and ANC veteran Dawood Khan died on New Year’s Day at the age of 90.
The former Kensington/Maitland ward councillor and founding member of the Western Cape Traders Association died of natural causes at his Kensington home early on Friday morning.
Khan lived with his eldest son, Mohamed Hoosain Khan, and had been living in Kensington for about 60 years. His janazah (funeral) was held at their residence on Friday.
Born and raised in Maitland, Khan would later serve as a leading light for the community.
His son said: “The work he did was mostly for the community. He would take old people for their pensions, help students. He was very involved with the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.”
He was also a founding member of the Muslim Association for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, and served as the Hospital Facility Board chairman.
Two years ago, Khan survived a major car crash after his Toyota Tazz collided with a truck.
On how the family is dealing with his death, Hoosain said: “It's not easy. Having had a dad like my dad, it's not easy.”
Khan was arrested and detained without trial for 180 days on Robben Island during the 1960s.
Provincial ANC spokesperson Dennis Cruywagen said the apartheid regime needed brave men and women, such as Khan, to stand up against the system. He said the Western Cape Traders Association also played an essential role in this.
“At the time of the release of Nelson Mandela, the Western Cape Traders Association helped him to get a suit. I think the suit that he wore on the day he was released. Dawood Khan was involved in arranging transport from the Victor Verster prison on the day of Mandela’s release. That, in a sense, bears testimony to the high regard in which Dawood Khan was held, and also the Western Cape Traders Association,” Cruywagen said.
“He was an activist of the people and for the people. He got his legitimacy to speak for the people because of his suffering and his contribution. We will miss him and we need more activists like Dawood Khan, people who are community-centred and community-oriented.”
He is survived by his two daughters and five sons.