Ismail Asmal: Farewell Mr Paul David
Farewell to Mr David...a true gentleman!!
At Kader Asmal's book launch in Exclusive store (Pavilion) I had the pleasure of meeting Paul's sister Phyllis Naidoo for the first time. I asked her what makes Paul "tick"and she smiled and said,"We have fairplay and justice in our blood!" I was fortunate to have met brother Ben David while marking matric scripts some 30 years ago.My first encounter with Paul,this outstanding academic, human rights activist and champion of the oppressed and disenfranchised was at the Stanger Recreation ground watching a cricket match. I was drawn to his loud,chirpy voice applauding each stroke and delivery. A happy chappy indeed.I introduced myself and our friendship blossomed ever since. He was Chairman of Stanger Civic Association and I was the scribe. It was pure entertainment to see animated discussions amongst 3 erudite attorneys, Nithi Israel, Pravin Sham and Paul David. I learnt to debate logically in those bimonthly meetings. Each time that Paul saw me,he'd smile and send out a hearty,"Howzit Buster" and that was quite uplifting.Mr David dedicated his entire life towards fighting for justice and equality for all people and the freedom of Nelson Mandela,even at the expense of his legal practice. I will never forget the weekly reports of the gallant British Consulate struggle veterans,which we read in the Post,Graphic and the Leader. People of the calibre and commitment of Paul David,Mewa Ramgobin,Archie Gumede,George Sewpersadh and Billy Nair are rare gems in this world. Alas! South Africa attained its freedom but at great cost to the masses. Sadly, the current ANC leaders have violated the original principles of the Freedom Charter and have been ensnared by the lure and trappings of materialism. I believe that the past veterans would not like to be addressed as "comrades," because they have been betrayed by this "gangster state" ,in which looting,nepotism and corruption have replaced the decency and moral direction that was the general intention.
However, dear friend and peacemaker Mr Paul David, you have run your race in an exemplary fashion. Rest in peace w
in the knowledge that you gave it your all.
Compiled by Ismail Asmal