The national Minister of Transport, Dullah Omar, passed away on Saturday 13 March in Cape Town.

The national Minister of Transport, Dullah Omar, passed away on Saturday 13 March in Cape Town.

Omar had Hodgkins-Classic, a form of cancer of the lymph nodes. He was admitted to the Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic last Tuesday with respiratory problems. He died in hospital at about four am on Saturday morning.

As the national transport minister in President Mbeki's cabinet since 1999, Omar tackled a host of issues, including plans to replace the country’s notoriously dangerous minibus taxis with newer vehicles and addressing ways of reducing the high road death toll.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport S'bu Ndebele, in expressing his condolences to Omar’s family, said: “He was highly regarded for his diplomacy and charisma. He was also a respected human rights lawyer who gave his life unselfishly to aiding the transformation to democracy in our country. His commitment and contribution to the people of South Africa will forever be remembered."

A spokesperson for Arrive Alive said Omar’s life’s work was exemplary to all South Africans.

“We all mourn his loss very, very deeply. The best tribute to Minister Omar is to live life as he did, selflessly in the service of others.”

Lawyer and life-long political activist Omar was given a state funeral in accordance with Islamic burial rites at the Vygieskraal stadium near his home in Rylands on Saturday afternoon.