Cape Town – The death of Dr Anwah Nagia, a prominent community activist and businessman will be mourned by many due to his commitment to justice in society, particularly former District Six residents forcibly removed from the area by the apartheid reigime.
Nagia died from a Covid-related illness on Monday. His funeral was on Tuesday at the Masjid Zeenatul Islam in District Six and he was buried at the Mowbray Muslim cemetery.
Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai said: “Anwah was entirely committed to advancing the cause of those who were dispossessed. He led the campaign ‘Hands off District Six’ and many would have read about it in the history books.
“He wanted to preserve the land for the restitution of the people of District Six.”
Judge Desai said that his last conversation with Nagia, while on his hospital bed, was about District Six.
“He had a vision of a new community arising in the area and he wanted us to pursue that.
“He always told the story of how people still have the keys to their houses, even though they are not living there for us to advance this cause,” he said.
Nagia led the District 6 Redevelopment and Beneficiary Trust to seek justice for many South Africans.
Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahdi Agha Jafari, said: “The loss of Dr Anwah Nagia will be felt by South Africa and people all over the world.”
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel said: “Anwah Nagia was committed to improving the lives of South Africans. He was an anti-apartheid and community activist and a socially-conscious investor.
“He worked with government a number of years ago as a co-investor in the building of a large soya-crushing plant in South Africa. That project became one of the largest employers in the Standerton area and contributed to the development of a soya-growing ecosystem… Our condolences go to his family during this difficult time.”