Asmal burial dispute settled
Johannesburg - A dispute in Kader Asmal's family as to whether he should be buried or cremated has been resolved, the Star reported on Friday.
Asmal was born into a conservative Muslim family, whose customs dictate that a person be buried shortly after death.
Asmal's wife, however, said he favoured cremation.
His nephew, Farouk Asmal, and sister Fawzia Peer, on Thursday requested that he be buried according to Muslim rites, and the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) was called on to mediate.
"We are totally against the fact that he is going to be cremated but, according to his wife, this is what he wanted," said Peer.
She said that Asmal, his wife and two sons were agnostic.
MJC spokesperson Nabeweya Malik said: "The burial is the prerogative of the family, and they have made a decision to cremate... if that is his decision, the MJC respects it..."
An official state funeral, in the form of a memorial service, was likely to take place in Cape Town on Thursday, said family spokesperson Allan Taylor.
Asmal died at the age of 76 in hospital in Cape Town on Wednesday after having a heart attack on Tuesday.
He was the minister of water affairs and forestry from 1994, a member of the ANC's national executive committee, and education minister from 1999.