Murdered Durban Muslim cleric was a dedicated community activist

18 January 2019 - 11:42
A Muslim cleric, Bilal Amla, was shot dead in a hijacking in Durban on Thursday night.
Image: SAPS A Muslim cleric, Bilal Amla, was shot dead in a hijacking in Durban on Thursday night.

The Muslim Judicial Council of SA (MJC) has condemned the killing of a Muslim cleric who was shot dead in an attempted hijacking outside King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban on Thursday night.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Captain Thembeka Mbele said Bilal Amla, 34, a moulana from Verulam, was accosted by unknown men at about 10.15pm outside the hospital. They shot him in the chest before fleeing in his vehicle.

Amla, who was described by another Muslim cleric as a community activist, is believed to have been visiting a patient at the hospital when the tragic incident happened.

He was apparently waiting inside the car while another cleric, said to be his cousin, went inside the hospital.

MJC deputy president Moulana Abdul Khaliq on Friday condemned Amla’s brutal murder.

“We condemn any form of crime and criminal activities. The killing of innocent people is unacceptable. The police have a responsibility to protect all citizens. We continue to advise our communities never to take the law into their hands. Our condolences go to the family of the victim and all those who are victims of crime in our country,” said Khaliq.

Moulana Abdullah Khan, Jamiat KZN administrator, said Amla, who did not belong to a particular mosque, was an active member of their council who supported the poor and needy.

“He didn’t belong to any particular mosque, but was an activist for one of the organisations. He was involved in the building of four water boreholes in the community.

“We also need to establish why violent crime has gone to an extent that innocent people are losing their lives in hijackings,” he said.

Khan said it was tragic that Amla, who often attended the Quwattul Islam Jamia Musjid in Wick Street in Verulam, had left behind his two children, a wife and his parents.

“It’s very tragic that he leaves behind his parents, a wife and his two children. That he was killed outside the hospital shows his commitment of the work he was doing. He went there for a good a cause. What is government going to about these violent crimes,” said Khan.

Izad Seedat, chairperson of the Verulam Mosque, also offered their condolences to Amla’s family. “The government needs to prioritise the crime issue going forward,” he said.