Back to top

Suliman “Babla” Saloojee (Posthumous)

The Order of Luthuli in

Suliman “Babla” Saloojee (Posthumous) Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to the fight against apartheid. He paid the ultimate price for dedicating his life to fighting political injustice in South Africa.
Profile of Mr Suliman “Babla” Saloojee

Mr Suliman “Babla” Saloojee was born on 5 February 1931 in the then Eastern Transvaal. He paid dearly with his life because of his involvement in activities aimed at opposing apartheid. He was captured and murdered in cold blood by apartheid’s infamous Special Branch (security police).

He was a member of the renowned Transvaal Indian Congress and the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress. He was also a prominent member of the Picasso Club, along with Ahmed Kathrada, Mosie Moolla, Abdullay Jassat and Farid Adam.

Saloojee was trained as a legal clerk. He was also a well-known and dedicated political activist within South Africa’s anti-apartheid circles. His knowledge of jurisprudence, no matter how basic it may have been, enabled him to discern and oppose injustice in all its manifestations.

Although Saloojee worked as a legal clerk, when his comrades were in trouble with police he would pose as a lawyer and demand to see them. This allowed him to track the whereabouts of detainees, obtain legal assistance and arrange for essential provisions to be delivered to the detainees.
Saloojee was also a key participant in the Defiance Campaign of 1952, a major political campaign of peaceful demonstrations against the inhumane laws of the apartheid state. Furthermore, he assisted many political activists to flee from South Africa to exile to be safe from targeted persecution.

On the night of his engagement to his fiancé Rookie Adam in 1961, Saloojee was arrested and detained by the police. Security police rearrested him in 1964 and he was severely beaten and thrown out of a seventh floor window to his death. As was common practice during those days of police brutality, his death was recorded as suicide.

Saloojee dedicated his life to the liberation of the people of South Africa and put his life in great danger in order to liberate the country.