Western Cape Judge Siraj Desai and others honoured at MJC's 75th anniversary

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MJC 75th anniversary.
MJC 75th anniversary.
Cebelihle Mthethwa, News24

Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai and three other people were honoured by the Muslim Judicial Council with lifetime awards to mark the council's 75th anniversary.

The MJC was formed 75 years ago on February 10, 1945, to fight against the system of apartheid.

On Wednesday, a celebration was held at St George's Cathedral where the council's first meeting was held all those years ago. This was to ensure that all religions were welcomed, as per the MJC's wishes.

"The celebration of this occasion in a church hall is important. It's important because, on the one hand, it recognises that in South Africa, there's religious freedom but ultimately, holding a meeting at [a] church hall, with the permission of the St George's Cathedral and with the consent of the MJC is actually a triumphant declaration of our common humanity," Desai said.

The lifetime awards were to acknowledge the people who played a role in the formation of the council. Shaykh Abdul Hameed Gabier, a MJC leader, also received an award for his contribution, as well as Shaykh M. Amien Fakier and Dr Maulana Ali Adam.

READ MORE: ANC, Zille mourn the passing of former Muslim Judicial Council president, Moulana Ihsaan Hendricks

ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile was one of the speakers. Chief Mandla Mandela was due to speak, but could not be present due to a family member falling ill.

"Both the ANC and the MJC share the same vision of the free united democratic non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa," Mashatile said during his speech.

Mandela wrote a letter that was read out.

"The challenges facing the South African society are real and overwhelming. I beseech the MJC to double up their efforts in working with communities to find local solutions to local problems," the letter reads.

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