THE COMPASSIONATE HEALER, a biography of Dr Essop Jassat, African freedom fighter & humanitarian

: Aziz (H.)

R 350.00
- +

408pp., illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2021


Foreword by Ahmed 'Kathy' Kathrada.

Dr Essop Jassat was born in 1932 in Johannesburg. After matriculating from the Johannesburg Indian High School, he was one of only 12 black students accepted by the Medical Faculty of the University of the Witwatersrand. As chair of the Student Liberal Organisation he was recruited by Bob Hepple into an underground Umkhonto we Sizwe unit tasked with gathering intelligence and scouting potential sabotage targets. A spare room attached to Jassat’s surgery was used to store material used in sabotage operations.

When the Transvaal Indian Congress was revived in 1983 Jassat was elected as President. In the same year he became a patron of the United Democratic Front and was detained with fellow UDF leaders in 1984. Jassat and 15 others were charged with treason but due to insufficient evidence charges against 12 of the 16 accused were later withdrawn. He was a representative at the Codesa negotiations. In 1994 he was elected as a Member of Parliament and served in this position until 2004, when he returned to his medical practice in Fordsburg. He is now semi-retired. In 2013 he was awarded The Order of Luthuli in Silver for his contribution to the struggle for liberation and advancing democracy in South Africa.