Comparative scholar and activist Yousuf Ahmed Deedat has been reported to be in a stable condition at an undisclosed private hospital after he was shot in the head outside the Verulam Family Court, north of Durban, South Africa on Wednesday.
Hours after the shooting, social media was abuzz with news of Deedat’s death. However, a family friend by his wife Yasmin’s side said he was alive.
It is understood that a team of surgeons managed to stabilise Deedat, 67, who is known for his intellectual engagement with Christians and Hindus.
Yousuf Deedat is the son of Shaikh Ahmed Deedat of the South Africa-based Islamic Propagation Centre International (IPCI), who visited Kano in 1991. The Indian-born cleric died in 2005.
Following the shooting, Deedat was airlifted to an undisclosed hospital for urgent medical care.
The family friend said the family was in shock, adding that Yasmin was locked in prayer.
“His sister Quarraisha is with him. He is stable and alive.”
TimesLIVE reported earlier that local security company Reaction Unit had dispatched a team to the court precinct at about 8.30am after they received multiple calls about the incident.
“On arrival, the victim Yousuf Ahmed Deedat was found lying face down on the pavement. He had sustained a single gunshot wound to his head,” said Reaction Unit spokesperson Prem Balram
“According to witnesses, he was walking towards the court when he was approached by a man who drew a firearm and shot him once before fleeing the vicinity on foot.
“A security officer who witnessed the incident pursued the suspect, who got into an awaiting white Mazda and sped off.
“The victim is currently being stabilised on scene by paramedics.”
Deedat was expected to appear in court.
Police spokesman Col Thembeka Mbele said the motive for the attack was unknown, adding that a case of attempted murder was being investigated.