Judge Zondo pledges to preserve Solly Bux's legacy by helping others

Businessman who helped young Raymond Zondo died at weekend

The official launch of the Zondo & Bux Educational Trust at Amazabeko High School in Highflats, KwaZulu-Natal in January 2019 - from Left to Right- Mohamed Bux (trustee), Judge Raymond Zondo (deputy chair), Sithembile Zondo (trustee), Shabir Chohan (secretary) Inset Suleman Bux (chairperson).
The official launch of the Zondo & Bux Educational Trust at Amazabeko High School in Highflats, KwaZulu-Natal in January 2019 - from Left to Right- Mohamed Bux (trustee), Judge Raymond Zondo (deputy chair), Sithembile Zondo (trustee), Shabir Chohan (secretary) Inset Suleman Bux (chairperson).
Image: Zondo & Bux Educational Trust via Twitter

To “give without any expectation, without recognition”. That is how deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo aims to preserve the legacy of a KwaZulu-Natal businessman who assisted Zondo and his family with groceries while he was a university student.

Suleman “Solly” Bux was introduced to South Africans during Zondo’s interview for the deputy chief justice role. During the interview Zondo paid tribute to Bux’s generosity, adding that the wholesaler had changed his life and that of his family.

What made a lasting impression in the minds of South Africans was Zondo mentioning that when he began working and offered to repay Bux, the businessman declined the offer. He advised Zondo to assist others instead.

Bux died on Saturday. Speaking to TimesLIVE on Sunday, Zondo said though he was aware that the businessman had been unwell, his death left him saddened.

“I received the news of the passing of Mr Solly Bux with shock and sadness. I have been in touch with his family since 2017 and we kept regular contact, so I knew that he was in hospital and the family contacted me yesterday to tell me that he was in critical condition. We hoped he would make it but later in the afternoon the family phoned to say, he had passed on,” said Zondo.

Subsequent to the pair reconnecting in 2017, they founded the Zondo & Bux Educational Trust, to assist disadvantaged schools and to pay forward the kindness extended to Zondo’s family.

Zondo said the bond between the two families and their commitment to assist disadvantaged schools will continue.

“I remain very grateful to Mr Bux for the very critical assistance that he gave to my family about 40 years ago when I needed to go to university. Had it not been for his assistance, I might not have gone to university to do my studies.

“I might not have gotten another chance to go to university later on in life. The assistance that he gave to my family, to give my family groceries during the duration of my studies for my junior degree, was very important,” he said.

Zondo said the degree he obtained laid a foundation for his legal career.

“Had I never been able to go to university, I would not be where I am today and Mr Bux is one of the people who made it possible for me to have that foundation, which led to the career that I have,” he added.

The judge said the best tribute that he (Zondo) can give to Bux is to do for others in need what was done for him.

“To extend assistance to those who are in need, without any expectation, without recognition, therefore we will continue to do that. We have established the Zondo and Bux educational trust of which Mr Bux was chairperson and I was deputy. We will continue with the work of that trust in honour of Mr Bux.”

The trust said in a statement at the weekend that it was “saddened by the passing away of its chairman Mr Solly Bux and conveys its heartfelt condolences to the Bux family. May God grant the family and all his loved ones forbearance and patience during this difficult time.”

Last year, Zondo and his wife Thembekile joined the SA Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT) in partnership with the Zondo & Bux Educational Trust, when they donated R1.5m towards a borehole and infrastructure development at Emazabekweni Primary School, on the south coast.

The Trust also funded a digital library at the Emazabekweni High School, with maths and science tutorials for pupils from grade 8 to grade 12. Pupils were also given tablets and access to wi-fi.

SEE JUDGE ZONDO DESCRIBING THE HELP HE AND HIS FAMILY RECEIVED:

TimesLIVE

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