A South African activist and son of a prominent deceased Muslim preacher is fighting for his life in a hospital after he was shot Wednesday in front of a court in the coastal city of Durban.
Police colonel Thembeka Mbele said that 65-year-old Yousuf Deedat, son of Sheikh Ahmed Deedat, was shot in the head while walking to Verulam’s family court outside Durban with his wife.
Mbele said an unknown suspect opened fire and shot Deedat in the head. He was later transferred to a hospital for medical attention, while the suspect fled in a car at an unknown address.
“He is in critical condition at a local hospital. While his injuries remain serious, we remain hopeful in Deedat’s recovery,” Deedat’s family said in a statement Wednesday night.
They also requested that family privacy be respected.
Sheikh Ahmed Deedat, who died in 2005, was a leading South African Muslim missionary who held several interreligious public debates with evangelical Christians.
He was known throughout the world as a respected public speaker and writer who published several widely distributed pamphlets on Islam and Christianity.
He was the founder of the International Center for Islamic Propagation, whose goal is for Islam to be heard and understood throughout the world.
The late Deedat received the King Faisal International Prize in 1986 for his 50 years of missionary work.
His son Yousuf is a famous community activist and Muslim scholar in Durban. Police said they were still investigating the reason behind their shooting.