Bux fam­ily helped Jus­tice Zondo

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Muham­mad Omar

IT IS no doubt the story of how the fam­ily of Deputy Chief Jus­tice Ray Zondo and more so his mother and sib­lings was helped by a rel­a­tively young trader in his early 30s (Mr Suleiman Bux is now 75).

Many may not re­alise this, but in terms of risk pro­file and credit as­sess­ment Mr Bux lit­er­ally made up his mind in sec­onds and this could have been a make or break de­ci­sion (though you can be as­sured Jus­tice Zondo would have pro­fessed in life).

And this was done ev­ery month – not a once-off and no is­sues or ex­cuses were made.

In a fam­ily busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment to have made this de­ci­sion and ac­count to fam­ily mem­bers clearly shows an en­vi­ron­ment of con­scious­ness and guts on the part of Mr Bux and his fam­ily.

Bear in mind this was the height of apartheid, reel­ing from the 1976 ri­ots, Black Con­scious­ness and even the Bux fam­ily who were trad­ing out­side the main cen­tral busi­ness district due to the Group Ar­eas Act.

This de­ter­mined where you could trade, live, go to school and even hol­i­day.

Strange as it may seem in the days of apartheid, you had two par­al­lel trad­ing towns, the white and the In­dian.

In many ar­eas the In­dian side, though far away from the CBD (post of­fice, banks), flour­ished through sim­ply treat­ing cus­tomers with bet­ter prices and cour­tesy, all in a very in­for­mal any­thing-goes en­vi­ron­ment.

One may have even asked what ca­reer prospects were avail­able for the young lad Mr Zondo (who no doubt made an im­pres­sion) be­ing African and choos­ing law as a ca­reer.

How­ever, such wasted strength of Mr Zondo’s per­son­al­ity that Mr Bux said yes, I will help, and very im­por­tantly kept to his word and so did Jus­tice Zondo who later came back to re­pay the loan and all this was for­got­ten un­til to­day.

This must have been mul­ti­plied in many ways by the Bux fam­ily. Of in­ter­est was that no in­ter­est was charged, dis­cussed, nor any col­lat­eral asked – just a ver­bal agree­ment which has long pro­scribed.

Would Mr Bux fall foul of the credit reg­u­la­tions to­day for reck­less lend­ing? Ra­madaan is a time when many Mus­lims’ pa­tience and fa­tigue lev­els are tested, but more so their wal­lets and con­tri­bu­tions to char­ity (be it the com­pul­sory 2.5% on all net liq­uid as­sets – in four years it’s 10% or gen­eral char­ity).

Help­ing a per­son/fam­ily in need is no strange is­sue and part of many peo­ple’s up­bring­ing. These were val­ues in­stilled a long time ago in Mr Bux’s DNA.

The hon­est and touch­ing revelation by Jus­tice Zondo and the gen­eros­ity of the Bux fam­ily (must have been big bucks) who were long es­tab­lished pi­o­neers who had their own bat­tles but saw an op­por­tu­nity to help one young guy who had this bright idea made a dif­fer­ence and touched so many lives. Even 40 years later it shows no good deed done sin­cerely goes un­re­warded.

These were val­ues in­stilled in Mr Bux’s DNA

Dur­ban North

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