The African National Congress (ANC) has sent condolences to the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and the Muslim community of South Africa following the death of former MJC president, Moulana Ihsaan Hendricks.
ANC national spokesperson, Pule Mabe, said Hendricks died on Friday after a long illness.
"Hendricks was a scholar and an activist in the Palestine solidarity movement. He dedicated his life to the fight for the liberation of the people of Palestine and was a supporter of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] boycott of Israel campaign," said Mabe.
Originally from Worcester in the Western Cape, Hendricks was the founder of the Al Quds Foundation in South Africa, which provided support for the Palestinian people.
"We have lost a leader whose contribution will forever be recognised as part of our history.
"May we forever draw inspiration from his steadfast commitment to the principles of equality and justice to which he dedicated his life," said Mabe.
"The ANC extends [our] most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and his comrades in the BDS movement," he said.
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille extended condolences to his loved ones and the Muslim community.
"I met Mr. Hendricks while he was still president of the Muslim Judicial Council. He was a fierce defender of human rights, and wanted to see people’s lives across the Western Cape improve," she said.
"His death, is a tremendous loss, for both the Muslim community and the province. May his soul rest in peace."
The ANC's Western Cape provincial secretary, Faiez Jacobs, said the ANC and the MJC had a long and rich history of working together.
"In particular, the ANC worked closely and always consulted Moulana Ihsaan Hendricks on issues around the Middle East and the struggle of the Palestinian people in particular," Jacobs said.
"As the standard bearer of [the] Muslim community in South Africa, the MJC has kept the ANC abreast of all the interests and concerns of the Muslim community and [the] ANC has become a great part of the community and its programmes that enriches the mosaic of our country.
"It was under the leadership of Hendricks that the Fiq (laws) of Citizenship gained momentum, that is that Muslims in South Africa are South African citizens first, that Muslims must celebrate, acknowledge and appreciate the freedoms they have to practice their religion enshrined in our Constitution and as such, participate in the progressive body politik of South Africa," said Jacobs.
"As the ANC we will miss President Ihsaan Hendricks's counsel and we wish his family, friends, and the Muslim community strength at this trying time," he said.
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