“In 1902, the Solomons and Sadien families legally owned all the Constantia Valley land, almost 5km in length:
The Solomons family and Sadien family once owned all of the land from the Constantia Valley development right through to and including the cemetery. This included the highest spot in the area, where their home stood until the Group Areas Act endorsed them out of Constantia under the Apartheid system. The family are still awaiting the final restitution of all of their original land, almost 5 kilometers in length.’ – quote
Farewell to Imam Gassan Solomons in Constantia
Reproduced from article, 29 10 2009 on http://cape-slavery-heritage.iblog.co.za/2009/10/29/farewell-imam-gassan-solomons/
“At 12:30 pm today I was amongst a huge throng of people who gathered on the old Solomons land, off the Spansjemacht River Road in Constantia. We had gathered to say our farewells and to bury our comrade, friend and great community leader Imam Gassan Solomons, a descendent of Tuan Guru.
Imam Gassan Solomons’ son Nasser Solomons (center) pays tribute to his father – right: Imam Gassan Solomons
After midday prayer and a number of speakers who paid tribute to this wonderful brother, the funeral proceeded to another piece of land in Constantia which had been donated by the Solomons family to be used as a cemetery in perpetuity. It was a fitting place for the Imam to be laid to rest.
These beautiful parcels of land, originally 3 farms, were bought by the Solomons family in 1902 and they still have the title deeds. The family however have a rich history which goes all the way back to Tuan Guru, a religious/political leader exiled to the Cape.
In 1902, the Solomons and Sadien families legally owned all the Constantia Valley land, almost 5km in length:
The Solomons family and Sadien family once owned all of the land from the Constantia Valley development right through to and including the cemetery. This included the highest spot in the area, where their home stood until the Group Areas Act endorsed them out of Constantia under the Apartheid system. The family are still awaiting the final restitution of all of their original land, almost 5 kilometers in length.
Minister for Planning in the Presidency Trevor Manuel & Sheikh Gabier pay tribute to Imam Solomons
Amongst the speakers paying tribute to Imam Solomons role in the struggle, the formation of the UDF and his role as an ANC member of Parliament, was his old friend and comrade, former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel. Imam Solomon’s comrades and life-long friend Sheikh Gabier also paid a memorable tribute to his friend as did the Imam’s son Nasser.
Imam Gassan Solomons had succumbed to prostate cancer which had spread to his bones. To the end he is said to have displayed the courage that had been a hallmark of his life. His life was one of a carefully balanced service to the communities of Cape Town, to his family, to his community of faith, to the UDF, to the ANC, to the electorate, to the MJC, to hisClaremont Mosque, to the Zakhr Fund, to Radio Voice of the Cape, to the youth and so much more. He was also a dedicated gardener and pigeon man.
I remember Imam Solomons as a humble man who always greeted one warmly with a smile clasping your hand in both of his hands. He had a way about him that told you that everyone was equal in this man’s eyes and he was someone who always made time to stop and smell the roses. One of the speakers, his son, talked about a man who had a strong work ethic and led by example. It was men like these that led us in the struggle against Apartheid. He was often of the run from the police, changing his appearance frequently.
Imam Solomons was a man of practical faith. He lived the Muslim path, emphasising the simplicity of the faith by underlining its spirit through his service to people. His was not a faith and politics of making a loud noise and shouting radical slogans. It was one of carefully laying sound foundations for us all and laying cement and brick, one by one to build a solid structure for future generations.
May the peace of Allah and the spirit of Gassan Solomons envelope his wife Amina and his sons and daughters in this time of grief. We’ve all lost a great brother. But his life and legacy is our gain and the gain of future generations.
The full story of the Solomons of Constantia needs to be recorded and told. It is another piece of our wonderful hidden heritage.
There are so many stories of black Constantia that is deeply hidden and covered over by the vulgar affluence displayed by those who took the land from former residents. These now complain of the black intruders in the area and say that restitution would devalue their properties. “