Hamba kahle, Hishaam

National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL)

Hishaam Mohamed was a long standing member of NADEL since the early 1990s. He is a son of the soil who will remain a part of the NADEL legacy, whose values and principles he shared so deeply.

Chrispin Phiri, Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services

Advocate Mohamed was soft-spoken and humble, he served the people of our country with unwavering dedication. The passing of Advocate Mohamed can only be described as an extremely sad day in the corridors of justice.

Advocate Owen Kleinhans, Registrar, Office of the Chief Justice Western Cape High Court

I got to know a man that made many sacrifices so that the most vulnerable in our province could enjoy their rights as contained in Chapter 2 of our Constitution. His passion, his baby, his everything was the “Operation Isondlo Project”, which focused on maintenance issues and aimed to improve the maintenance system through a series of interventions to ultimately advance the position of women, children, the aged and frail and persons with disabilities which were compounded by their vulnerability and poverty. I want to thank this great man, leader, confidant, friend and father figure for the influence he had over my life and my career.

Seehaam Samaai, Director at Women’s Legal Centre

I started working at the Department of Justice in 2012 where Hishaam Mohamed was the regional head of the Western Cape.

I knew him prior to that as I had met him via NADEL and in various community structures which he was very active in, for example, the Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre as well as other organisations.

He was very consistent, a disciplinarian, had a heart for the people and was a perfectionist in terms of the activities in communities and he expected that for everyone.

Sidwell Kweba, Riemvasmaak community leader

I knew Hishaam Mohamed not only as an advocate but a comrade as well.

He was actively involved in the development of Phumlani Village in the late 1990s as he and comrade Vernon Seymour were the people who came forward and helped the community in fighting for a better life. He’s work never stopped just as he continued to offer his services to the community without expectations. I recall in 2012 when we had our service delivery protest. Many of our community members were then arrested. We contacted Comrade Hishaam in the evening seeking legal assistance from him. He didn’t think twice about representing us at no cost. With his assistance we did not only win the case but he was very instrumental in the overall recognition of our informal settlement by the City of Cape Town. He meant a lot to the community of Phumlani Village and Riemvasmaak informal settlement.

Hamba Kahle, Comrade Hishaam, and thank you for everything you’ve done for us.

Karen Maarman, Steenberg community leader

I met Hishaam in the 1980s when we joined the UDF, knowing him as a young activist.

After many years we met again and it was always amazing to see that he still had that heart for his people on the ground. I was at the launch of the Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre and could literally hear his heart for the previously disadvantaged and oppressed.

When lockdown level 5 started he came alongside us and supported our organisation with food parcels to handout to the seniors and children. I salute his engagement to educate our ordinary people. He was a great leader with a heart for his people.

Denzil van Graan, former principal of Perivale Primary School

I remember Hishaam Mohamed as a true gentleman who never forgot his roots.

He ploughed back into the school community he grew up in and was a noble example of humility and servitude.

He made time to visit the school to inspire the learners to rise above their deprived circumstances and motivate the staff to create sustainable partnerships with the parent and wider school community.

He generously supported school projects over the years and the joy and exuberance on his face was testimony to the excitement and happiness he felt when he entered the courtyard of the “hallowed grounds of Perivale Primary” as he referred to it as he shared fond memories of his school going years and antics of his peers and teachers of yesteryear. The school is privileged to have had a learner of his calibre and is proud of what he achieved.

Peter Hendricks, Grassdale High School Grade Head and Head of Department

Hishaam Mohamed was a true leader and servant of the people.

He was an energetic, passionate, hard-working and committed community activist. It was an honour to have served with Hishaam on the executive committee of the ANC branch and as administrator of the Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to improve the lives of our communities. We will miss you dearly.

Faiez Jacobs, MP for greater Athlone

Hishaam and I were recently fellow colleagues, MPs in Parliament, but have known each other as community and social justice activists for more than 25 years from the UDF.

We also served together on the ANC Provincial Executive Committee. He was a really warm people’s advocate and activist. He died with his boots on. During lockdown he was actually driving food parcels to people.

He was very committed to the advocacy of gender rights.

Ridwan Samodien, Kannemeyer Primary School principal

I never had the delight of meeting the late Advocate Mohamed. He booked our hall and was scheduled for a meeting when Covid-19 happened and he had to postpone.

I, however, followed him keenly as he was working closely with the late Advocate Dullah Omar. I somehow was touched and inspired by him, always seeing him in the Southern Mail, paying a visit to his former school, Perivale Primary School, and also being a former student of Wittebome High, where I matriculated.

He lead legislation on gender-based violence that is in the pipeline and could easily have served as a minister, or deputy minister, but opted to be in the trenches, serving his constituency with distinction, leading as an example for other MPs to follow.