The African National Congress (ANC) has expressed sadness after one of its MPs, advocate Hishaam Mohamed, died on Monday.
According to the party’s caucus spokesperson, Nomfanelo Kota, Mohamed died of a heart attack on Monday, around 17:30.
“On behalf of the ANC chief whip, Pemmy Majodina, we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of advocate Mohamed,” Kota told News24.
The ANC in the Western Cape said that Mohamed’s passing came as a great shock.
“The sudden death of this kind, gentle, and committed servant of the people came as a great shock,” Western Cape ANC spokesperson convener Lerumo Kalako said.
“We are devastated because comrade Hishaam touched us all and went out of his way to help wherever he could,” added Kalako.
Mohamed was elected to Parliament last year.
He served on the Portfolio Committee for Justice and Correctional Services.
Prior to that, he served as the Western Cape Regional Head of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development from May 1997.
Mohamed joined the United Democratic Front as a high school student in 1985.
He was a public prosecutor at the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Office from 1993 to 1994 before being appointed as a senior family advocate in the Office of the Family Advocate in Cape Town in 1995.
He was also elected as the ANC’s first chairperson of its Southern Suburbs region.
“In many respects, he was a trailblazer and he was instrumental in the establishment of the first courts in Khayelitsha and Nyanga/Philippi in the Western Cape in 1998,” said correctional services spokesperson Chrispin Phiri.
“He was both a lawyer and an activist. His was a life dedicated to the struggle for freedom, justice and human rights.”
He described Mohamed as soft-spoken, humble and dedicated.
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola shared: “In all my interactions with Hishaam, one got the sense that this was a man who had been mentored by some of the great stalwarts of our liberation struggle, such as the likes of Dullah Omar and Essa Moosa.”
Mohamed is survived by his wife, Ragmat, and their three children – Imran, 25, Haneem, 18, and Uzair, 16.