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South African leader of Indian origin dead

DURBAN, MARCH 13. The South African Transport Minister of Indian origin, Dullah Omar, died today at the age of 70 after battling cancer for more than a year. Mr. Omar, whose parents arrived in Cape Town from Gujarat in the early 1930s was taken seriously ill last week and was hospitalised in Cape Town, family sources said.

Mr. Omar would be accorded a full state funeral, the South African Government spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa, said.

Anti-apartheid activist Omar was appointed Minister of Justice by the former President, Nelson Mandela, in the new democracy government in 1994 and later made Minister of Transport by the current President, Thabo Mbeki, in 1999.

Mr. Omar, who visited India several times during his tenure as Minister of Justice and Minister of Transport, began a struggle against apartheid while still a student in Cape Town.

— PTI

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