R20m sale of sacred Bo-Kaap land called off, says Doutie family heir

Bo-Kaap resident and Doutie heir, Cassiem Abdullah, says he has been fighting plans by some of his relatives to sell sacred burial land inherited by his family for over 50 years.

Some of Abdullah’s siblings and extended family members turned to ClareMart auction house to sell off part of the historic Tana Baru cemetery in Bo-Kaap.

Tana Baru is the first officially declared Muslim burial site in South Africa.

His family members planned to have the land auctioned at the starting value of R20 million, but Abdullah claims that the auction has since been called off.

Abdullah says the sacred land is profoundly significant to the entire Muslim community in the country.

He vehemently disapproves of the sale and potential exhumation of bodies buried there.

We are not going to let the sale go through. It's not going to be allowed. The site has been declared as a heritage site.

Cassiem Abdullah

We will never allow for bodies to be exhumed. Nobody can build on that land.

Cassiem Abdullah

Whoever will buy that land is not going to have their plan passed by the city council.

Cassiem Abdullah

My late grandfather inherited the land in 1860s. They were four brothers and four sisters.

Cassiem Abdullah

The land came onto the Abdullah Doutie clan, and our family has been trying to get rid of it and make a buck out of it since then.

Cassiem Abdullah

It came to my notice that some of our family signed to have this land auctioned at the starting value of R20 million.

Cassiem Abdullah

The land is historic to us, as it is to the whole Muslim community of Cape Town.

Cassiem Abdullah

There's plenty graves on the site. It's uncountable.

Cassiem Abdullah

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