Raymond Zondo and Suleman Bux
How an act of kindness by a Muslim, helped a man to become a top jurist In South Africa.
An Indian-origin Muslim shopkeeper in South Africa became an overnight sensation after the new Deputy Chief Justice of the country recalled his generosity over four decades ago when he was looking for a loan to fund his studies. Suleman Bux, 76, who at that time ran a small general store in Ixopo town, had forgotten about the young man with whom he had struck a deal to be a good student by giving him groceries for his family so that they could save what they would have spent on this for his studies. Judge Raymond Zondo, 57, who has been recently appointed as the Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, recalled how he had sceptically approached Bux when he started his studies in 1981, unsure of whether he or anyone else would give a loan to a 20-year-old man. Zondo approached Bux, who helped him with groceries for his family.
Zondo’s emotional video at his installation to the second highest judicial post in the country recently went viral as he recalled Bux’s influence on his life, expressing a desire to meet him again after the fasting month of Ramadan was over. Zondo met with Bux and his extended family to thank him personally. Bux shrugged off the huge media attention.
After he began earning, Zondo tried to repay Bux, but the shopkeeper, who is still running a wholesale store, told Zondo to rather finance some other young students. “I helped him because it was the right thing to do. As a Muslim, helping others is important, but you do it because you want to, not because you want recognition and for everyone to know,” Bux added.