The passing of Cape Town businessman and philanthropist, Abdullah Gangraker, is a huge loss for the Cape Town community. These are the sentiments of many people who knew the humanitarian, affectionately known as ‘Mr Wembley’. On Sunday, some 5000 people paid their respects by performing janazah salah at Masjidul Quds in Gatesville, as mourners paid their respects to a man considered a “visionary” of the Muslim community. The public continues to send eulogies in honour of a man who contributed immensely to the development of the Muslim community and local city.
In a statement, Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille said his passing was a huge loss to the many people who came to know ‘Haji Gangreker’ for his kind and generous nature.
“The iconic Wembley group of stores in Belgravia is a true Cape Town institution. For decades, generations have supported and loved the successful chain of stores known for its quality food and convenience. The stores were not only known to local residents, but tourists from all over the country and the world would frequent Wembley as one of the must-see attractions in Cape Town,” she said.
While Gangraker had built a formidable brand through his Wembley group of companies, his real passion was his charitable causes and the development of the local community.
“He was truly a good man. I remember fondly how during the struggle, he would provide food for striking workers. Thousands of people attended his Janaaza today, a testament to the great man that he was. He will be missed by many,” added De Lille.
Al Jama’ah party leader Ganief Hendricks said South Africa has lost a “great hero”.
“It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing away of one of South Africa’s great heroes, We know of no one that has supported so many good causes small and big too numerous to mention,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Cape Town Islamic Educational Centre also expressed his condolences.
“We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of our well wisher and supporter, Mr Wembley. It is indeed a sad time for the community,” said the centre. VOC