Speaker, it was with great sadness that we in the ACDP learnt of the passing of Imam Gassan Solomon, last week. I had the honour of serving with Gassan Solomon on the Justice Portfolio Committee for ten years, from 1999 to 2009.
During this time, we both had a close relationship based on mutual respect and a shared desire to improve the lives of ordinary South Africans, particularly when it came to issues related to justice.
Whilst he came from humble beginnings and was not legally trained, he often showed us lawyers up on the Justice Portfolio Committee with his insight for questioning of officials. He had a deep understanding of the grassroots issues of justice that affected marginalised communities, such as deficiencies in the criminal justice system, limited access to justice, maintenance and domestic violence issues.
I was privileged to travel overseas with him on a number of occasions. He and I would be introduced as the spiritual elders of the Justice Portfolio Committee, particularly by the hon Jonnie de Lange, a role we were proud to fulfil.
Imam Solomon has left a lasting legacy not only here in Parliament, but to the country as a whole. We share, in pain, a tribute to him.
On behalf of the ACDP, I would like to express our deepest condolences to his wife Amina, his children, the ANC and the broader Muslim community. Our prayers are with you at this very difficult time. We support the motion. I thank you.