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Two Indian-origin men among 10 heroes in S Africa

Two Indian-origin men, including a journalist, are among South Africa`s 10 heroes who contributed to the public life in 2011.



Johannesburg: Two Indian-origin men,
including a journalist, are among South Africa`s 10 heroes who
contributed to the public life in 2011.

Journalist Yusuf Abramjee and philanthropist Dr Imtiaz
Sooliman joined the list, compiled by a newspaper, which was
topped by South African Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Madonsela came in for praise after acting firmly against
two ministers found guilty of corruption following
investigation by her office.

Published by the daily `The Star`, the heroes list cited
Abramjee for not succumbing to temptation and going public
about a multi-million rand bribe offered to him by an elderly
church leader who was illegally claiming millions of rands
from the state for school subsidies while his schools were
inoperative.

Abramjee initiated the Lead SA campaign in which radio
and print media jointly encourage members of the public to
expose corruption and do things in the public interest, no
matter how small.

He has also been internationally recognised with numerous
awards for Crime Line, a drive against crime involving
anonymous tip-offs by honest citizens.
Crime Line has seen action against illegal goods
amounting to millions of rands being confiscated and numerous
prosecutions over the past three years.

"In the process of turning down a R1.2 million bribe,
Abramjee exposed a multi-million rand corruption scam in the
Gauteng education system," the daily said.

Sooliman, who gave up a medical career to start the
relief aid organisation Gift of the Givers, has in the past
decade received international fame for running a huge
organisation which reacts to natural disasters and in war-torn
countries more rapidly than international and governmental aid
agencies.

"When disaster strikes, Sooliman will be there," the
daily said of the man who runs his agency from donations on a
voluntary basis and is well-connected across the globe but
retains his humility.

PTI

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