Shaheed Omar was shot dead at a busy Lansdowne intersection. Picture: Facebook
Cape Town - Tragedy has struck the Omar family.

They buried Shaheed Omar, nephew of anti-apartheid Struggle leader Dullah Omar, on Friday, after he was shot dead at a busy intersection in Lansdowne on Thursday night. Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said a murder investigation was under way. 

Sources close to the family said Omar, 44, and his mother, Subeida, were returning from visiting a sick relative on Thursday. At around 8.30pm he had slowed down at the corner of Govan Mbeki Road and Jan Smuts Drive, on the way to his home in Mabel Road, Rylands Estate, when he was approached by a man in the go-slow area where roadworks are under way.

Omar had opened the door of his car when the man fired shots at him. He was reportedly shot in the chest at point-blank range in front of his mother.

The family source said they did not believe the shooting was politically motivated, following the withdrawal of the Omar name from the ANC’s Cape Metro branch where the ANC Youth League had marched in support of President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday, during the motion of no-confidence vote.

The family believed the shooting was criminally motivated and that Omar had attempted to shield his mother by stepping out of the car and trying to reason with the gunman. The grieving family held his funeral service at the Mountview Mosque, presided over by prominent members of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC).

Dullah Omar’s nephew, Shaheed Omar, was shot and killed by hijackers at the corner of Jan Smuts Drive and Govan Mbeki Road. Picture: LEON KNIPE

Omar was buried at the Pooke Road cemetery.

On Friday, Omar’s colleagues at Old Mutual, where he worked as an investment specialist, were in mourning for a man many described as well-respected, well-liked, reliable and hard-working.

Speaking on behalf of the Mandela family, Chief Zwelivelile Mandlesizwe Dalibhunga Mandela condemned the murder which he said had greatly shocked and saddened them.

On behalf of the Royal House of Mandela, the Mvezo Traditional Council, and his family, “we wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to the Omar family”, he said.

“The killing fields of Cape Town are cause for great concern. We call on the South African Police Service (SAPS) to work together with their provincial and local government counterparts, and community safety structures, to devise a sustainable strategy to stop innocent civilians from losing their lives in such a senseless and callous manner,” said Mandela.

Shaykh Isgaak Taliep of the MJC said: “Obviously from the Muslim community side and the Western (Cape) community, we are quite upset by the senseless killing of brother Shaheed Omar.

“Obviously, the circumstances around the killing are still unknown to us. It came as a shock to us all, we’re all so very sad.

“We expect SAPS to do their job and do the necessary investigations and to find the perpetrators.”

“As the MJC, we all have the necessary desire to see the crime rate drop in the Western Cape and we will do all we can to assist the stakeholders, SAPS and the CPFs to bring the crime rate down,” he added.

He said as imams they served in sub-economic communities where crime was rife and killings had become “too common in our community” and as law-abiding citizens they would like to see this type of killings come to an end and the perpetrators to have their day in court and be imprisoned, and not released on parole after two years.

Van Wyk said no arrests had been made and anyone with information about the shooting was requested to call Crimestop or the Lansdowne police.

Weekend Argus