Nine months later, police no closer to finding killer of controversial Durban Islamic scholar

Suthentira Govender Senior reporter
Islamic scholar Yousuf Deedat was shot dead nine months ago outside the Verulam family court.
Islamic scholar Yousuf Deedat was shot dead nine months ago outside the Verulam family court.
Image: Jackie Clausen

The family of controversial Durban Islamic scholar Yousuf Deedat, who was gunned down outside the Verulam family court in January, are still waiting for his killer to be brought to book.

Deedat, known for his contentious views on Christianity and Hinduism, was with his wife Yasmin when an unknown gunman opened fire on him before fleeing.

He was about to attend court when the incident occurred.

His son, Raees Deedat, told SowetanLIVE sister publication TimesLIVE on Wednesday that he is still waiting to hear from the police about his father's case.

"The wheels of justice turns slowly, but they do turn. We just have to have faith," he said.

Police spokesperson Capt Nqobile Gwala said the matter is still under investigation and no arrests had been made.

"We are appealing to anyone who might have information about the suspects involved to contact Verulam police on 032 541 5203 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

"The family is advised to visit the station commander if they are not pleased with the progress of the investigation," said Gwala.

The son of the fiery late Muslim scholar Sheik Ahmed, Deedat was known to have close relations with the family of Osama bin Laden and was the founder of the Islamic Propagation Centre International, through which the Deedats once distributed controversial reading material denigrating other religions.

They claimed the Bin Ladens had poured money into propagating Islam in SA.

Deedat was often mired in controversy. One of the more recent incidents was in 2016, when parents at Northwood High School in Durban accused him of trying to recruit pupils into Islamic State.