9th September 2019 marks the 55th anniversary of the death in police detention of Suliman “Babla” Saloojee (aged 33). He was a legal clerk and a member of the renowned Transvaal Indian Congress and the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress. He was also a prominent member of the Picasso Club, along with Ahmed Kathrada, Mosie Moolla, Abdullay Jassat and Farid Adam.
Saloojee died on September 9, 1964 after falling from a seventh-floor window in Gray’s Building, the then headquarters of the police’s Special Branch.
Although the police version was that he had committed suicide, and an inquest into his death found that the cause of his death was unknown, his family and friends believe he was brutally tortured by the infamous security policeman “Rooi Rus” Swanepoel, before being thrown to his death.
Saloojee was the fourth anti-apartheid activist to die in custody and many more were to follow. He was in 2016 posthumously awarded the Order of Luthuli in Bronze for his excellent contribution to the fight against apartheid. He paid the ultimate price for dedicating his life to fighting political injustice in South Africa.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will be commemorating the anniversary on Sunday, 8 September 2019 at the Bill Jardine Hall, Commando Road, Industria, Johannesburg. A visit to the grave site of Saloojee will take place after the commemorative event.
To RSVP, please contact Nonkosi Maliti by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 011 854 0082.