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Cape Karamats Preserved through Heritage Declaration

Nov 24, 2020

By Naadiya Adams

Representing the advent of Islam to Southern Africa, now deemed a significant historic symbol, 10 karamats in the Cape will be preserved as a National Heritage site for generations to come.

Speaking to Radio Islam, Yusuf Delwai of the Cape Mazaar Society (CMS) explains that the idea behind nominating the Kramats was to ensure its history would be preserved under the National Heritage Resources Act – meaning no person may destroy, damage, deface, excavate, alter, remove from its original position, subdivide or change the planning status of any National Heritage Site without a permit from the SA Heritage Resources Agency- the body that provides a declaration towards heritage.

“We are paving the way forward for the next generation by making sure that these legacies are preserved at all times.”

A year after the CMS nominated the sites, it was awarded a Grade 1 status by SAHRA, an achievement Delwai has described as a major milestone. The body takes a holistic approach in determining a site’s heritage, as they not only hold religious significance but historical and cultural value as well.

“Heritage sites reflect the legacy that will be reflected in the formal record and provides an opportunity for communities to take pride in their heritage, their stories and their identity,” says Delwai.

In a move to involve the Muslim community at large, Delwai says SAHRA has urged CMS to hold 60 days of public participation whereby various communities may pledge their support or voice their objections.

Delwai explains once that process is completed the site moves to Grade two status and in a few months, we can expect the sites to be declared heritage.

The 10 sites under consideration for this declaration are:

Sheikh Yusuf, Macassar.

Tuan Dea Koasa and Tuan Ismail Dea Malela, Simon’s Town.

Sheikh A bin Muhammad Allraqi, Mowbray.

Sayed Moegsien bin Alawieal Aidarus, Mowbray.

Sheikh Noorul Mubeen, Oudekraal.

Sheikh Mohamed Hassen GhailbieShah, Signal Hill.

Tuan Kaape-ti-low, Signal Hill.

Abdurahman Matebe Shah, Constantia.

Sayed Mahmud, Constantia.

Sheikh Abdul Mutalib, Constantia Forest.

Listen to the full Interview with Yusuf Delwai here:

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