Prominent advocate and human rights champion, Hishaam Mohamed, will be laid to rest today. The member of Parliament died on Monday, August 24 from a sudden heart attack. He was only 55 years old.
Mohamed was an MP in the African National Congress (ANC), and spent his career championing justice. He had a fruitful legal career for decades since he started as a temporary clerk at the Athlone Magistrate’s court in 1990, according to IOL.
He headed Operation Isondlo, an initiative created to oversee that beneficiaries received their maintenance money. And also a key figure in establishing the first courts servicing Khayelitsha, Philippi and Nyanga in 1998.
During his notable career, he served as the Western Cape regional head of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development from 1997 up until 2019 when became a member of Parliament.
Most note-worthy is that he pioneered for the adoption of three crucial bills that were recently passed in National Assembly: The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill, The National Register for Sexual Offences, and the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill.
Mohamed established and was the Chairperson of the Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre in Grassy Park, created to provide necessary legal services to poor and vulnerable communities. He also supported a food relief scheme to provide support for those left vulnerable and hungry by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the Ministry of Justice expressed their sadness at his passing and described Mohamed as a ‘trailblazer” in his field.
“He was both a lawyer and an activist. His life was dedicated to the struggle for freedom, justice and human rights,” said the Ministry.
Statement on the passing of Adv Hishaam Mohamed (MP)
— Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services 🇿🇦 (@Min_JCS) August 24, 2020
The ANC also mourns his death.
ANC MOURNS PASSING OF ANC MP ADV HISHAAM MOHAMED pic.twitter.com/GdozvzaRpT
— ANC Parliament (@ANCParliament) August 24, 2020
He is survived by wife Rachmat Rassool, sons Imraan and Uzair and daughter Haneem.
“Given the range of people whose lives he has touched with his long record of public service there will be provision through the morning for Ziyarat (final greetings) which will accord with the lockdown and social distance regulations. Kindly abide by the lockdown rules and stay safe,” Mohamed’s brother Saliem told IOL.