Yousuf Deedat, the son of the prominent Muslim theologian Ahmed Deedat, has passed away after being shot outside a courtroom yesterday.
Yousuf Deedat, who was himself an Islamic theologian and activist, died at St Anne’s Hospital near Durban this afternoon after going into a coma. He was airlifted to hospital after being shot by an unknown gunman.
Raees Deedat, his son, said: “His family and friends were at his bedside when he passed away peacefully. The family conveys their heartfelt gratitude for the support they received from family, friends and the community. May his soul rest in peace.”
The chairperson of the Imam Hussein mosque in Verulam, Azad Seedat, paid tribute to Deedat, who he’s known for 30 years, describing him as a wonderful person. “He got along with everybody. He visited our mosque and supported us during our time of need. We are shocked at what transpired,” Seedat said.
A former neighbour of Deedat’s, Sharmaine Sewshanker, said he was a well-known community activist who was always willing to help. “He never turned anybody away that pitched up at his door for assistance. He always went the extra mile,” she said.
Meanwhile, the American Muslim scholar, Yasir Qadhi, said: “I strongly urge the South African authorities to find the murderer who did this heinous deed and bring him to justice in this world, and as for the ultimate justice this will be meted out on the Day of Judgement.
“May Allah grant Yusuf Deedat the status of the shaheed and forgive his sins and exalt his ranks and give sabr to his family.”
It is not known what Deedat was doing at court when he was shot. The director of private security company Reaction Unit South Africa, Prem Balram, said a man simply walked up to Deedat, shot him, and fled to a parked vehicle. “On arrival, the victim was found lying face down on the pavement,” said Balram.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said Deedat was walking with his wife when he was shot. Mbele said the motive for the shooting was not known. She confirmed the suspect was still on the run.
Yousuf Deedat’s janaza is due to take place tomorrow at the Verulam Wick Street Mosque after fajr prayers.