Pictured placing the plaque on the grave of Imam Abdullah Haron are are his daughters, Shamela Shamis and Fatima Masoet-Haron as his son Muhammed Haron looks on. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town – Galiema Haron, the wife of apartheid martyr Imam Abdullah Haron, has died at the age of 93.

Galiema Haron's death on Sunday comes 50 years after her husband's killing in detention on September 27, 1969.  

The police told the family that after being detained for four months, he had fallen down a flight of stairs and died.

This week saw a series of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Imam’s killing including the Al-Jaamia Masjid in Claremont, where he carried out his operations for 15 years, as well as his gravesite, being unveiled as provincial heritage sites.

At the unveiling this week, Haron’s youngest daughter, Fatima Haron- Masoet, said her mother was frail and unable to attend the events. 

“My family and I feel encouraged and inspired that the province has nominated this mosque as a heritage site. I was six years old when my father was taken out of my life, so for me, it remains important that his legacy and memory are maintained for future generations,” she said.

Haron’s son, Muhammad Haron, said: “The masjid was the space where my father laid down the foundation for what would become his purpose, and what he sacrificed his life for. He died to achieve a just society; have we obtained that? Perhaps not yet. His memory will transcend beyond his death and he will continue to inspire people.”

Last year after participating in the inaugural annual Imam Abdullah Haron Education Trust Bibi’s Kitchen 6km Fun Walk, Galiema said: “Today (yesterday) was both a happy and sad experience for me as we walked past the house in Repulse Road, Athlone, where the security police took my husband. The route also went near Jefferson Road, Lansdowne house, where all three of his children were removed by the Groups Areas Act. 

"Even after his death there were more difficult times and I just want communities to know there is still hope while there is life,” she said.

In a tribute to Galiema Haron on Facebook, ANC MP Faiez Jacobs said: "Antie Galiema was a wife, mother and comrade to be admired, respected and appreciated. Widowed by what appeared to have been a deliberate killing, she raised her children alone, always wondering how her beloved husband had died.

"If the apartheid rulers thought they could kill her spirit, they were wrong. She stood tall, defiant and principled."

Cape Times and IOL