The Life and Death of Dr Abu Baker ‘Hurley’ Asvat, 23 February 1943 to 27 January 1989

Abu Baker Asvat

Abu Baker Asvat was a doctor and political militant in South Africa. He was murdered in 1989.

At the time of his murder in 1989, Dr Abu Baker ‘Hurley’ Asvat was widely revered as ‘the people’s doctor’ based on almost two decades of medical work in Soweto and health projects initiated across the Transvaal as Azapo’s secretary of health. This article reconstructs Asvat’s biography from his childhood in the multiracial Johannesburg neighbourhood of Vrededorp to his medical study and political activism as part of a Pan Africanist Congress (PAC)-aligned student group in Pakistan; from his significant role in non-racial cricket to his emergence as a central figure in Soweto’s life and politics.

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