It was a sombre moment as Nadeema Noorbhai remembered her father, the late Cllr. Abdul Razak Goolam Noorbhai who, she said, “was a pillar of strength for us all”, following his sudden death on Monday.
An emotional Noorbhai could not hold back tears as she fondly remembered him as being “the humorous person that my father was.”
“At many family functions, he would always start with a joke or tell something silly that would make the situation so much calmer and he would make the situation so warm,” she recalled.
The late Cllr. Noorbhai was born in Vrededorp, Johannesburg on 16 July 1956. He is survived by his wife and two daughters. Cllr. Noorbhai himself once stated that the school holidays, which he spent at the family farm, shaped the person he became and said that Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) humanitarian values are what he found to be most endearing.
He was first elected to the Council in October 2018 and served as a PR Councillor assigned to Ward 8 in the City of Johannesburg.
Apart from his day-to-day service to the community as an elected official, Cllr. Noorbhai is widely acclaimed for having established a dedicated help desk to assist communities which faced hurdles in the process of building Mosques.
Furthermore, Cllr. Noorbhai was passionate about the cause of the oppressed people of Palestine and often attended solidarity meetings.
A statement from the Democratic Alliance, the party to which he was affiliated, echoed the sentiment of many community members who expressed their sadness on the passing of the community leader. “He will be remembered as a lighthearted soul, who always displayed commitment and dedication,” the statement read.
His colleague Cllr. Alex Christians, who currently serves as the Ward Councillor for Ward 58 in the City of Johannesburg, described Cllr. Noorbhai as a “very respectful a gentleman of note”.
Veteran journalist and presenter at Salaamedia Inayet Wadee described the late councillor as a “brother” and pointed out that he “dedicated his life to the service of humanity”.
Nadeema Noorbhai added that her father advised her to “always be humble, be diplomatic, be nice [and] always give people the respect that they need.”
Julie Alli was joined by Nadeema Noorbhai, Inayet Wadee and Cllr. Alex Christians on News & Views for a discussion on the life and times of the late Cllr. Abdul Razak Goolam Noorbhai. Watch the full tribute here: