TRIBUTE TO FATIMA MEER: Champion of the underclass

Dr Fatima Meer died last Friday, at the age of 82, following a stroke she suffered two weeks ago. Her death brings to a close a remarkable life: a courageous, selfless, independent-minded scholar-activist, never afraid to speak out and always ready to act on her words. Her legacy, however, is bound to carry on through her vast accomplishments, for which in 2007 Rhodes University awarded her the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature.

Meer has been described as “a redoubtable fighter and doughty champion of the underclass”; as “dynamite in a small package”; as “the most popular and recognisable Indian South African Muslim woman over the past five decades”; and as “a true Gandhian”.

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