Struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada dies at 87

JOHANNESBURG – Struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada, fondly known as ‘Uncle Kathy’, has passed away.

The Kathrada Foundation confirmed that the 87-year-old passed away at the Donald Gordon Hospital on Tuesday morning.

Kathrada's health deteriorated on Monday after he was admitted to hospital for surgery related to blood clotting in the brain earlier this month.

His condition worsened in the past 24 hours due to pneumonia which developed after the operation.

Kathrada will be buried according to Muslim religious rights, details of which will be made publicly available in due course.

Kathrada was born in the North West town of Schweizer-Reneke in 1929.

He began his political career at the tender age of 17, leading to numerous incidents of incarceration before and after he joined the African National Congress (ANC).

Alongside seven others, which includes former President Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki, Kathrada stood trial after he was arrested in a police raid on a meeting at the Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia.

The trial, more popularly known as "The Rivonia Trial", ended in a sentence of life imprisonment and hard labour. Kathrada spent over 26 years on Robben Island.

WATCH: EWN looks back at Ahmed Kathrada's life & his significance in the struggle for democracy.

AN ACTIVIST TO THE END

In a tumultuous political environment, the veteran weighed in on the growing concern around the current ANC leadership – more specifically the calls for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma after the Constitutional Court ruling on Nkandla in 2016.

Kathrada penned a letter to Zuma asking him to submit to the will of the people, adding that his resignation would help the country out of a crisis.

At the time the former political prisoner said he had not initially spoken out about Nkandla, although he thought it wrong to have spent public money for any president's private comfort.

Through his foundation, Kathrada also called for an investigation into allegations of the Gupta family’s undue influence on the appointment of cabinet ministers.

This as former ANC Member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor came forward, saying the Guptas offered her a ministerial post which she had rejected and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas confirmed he'd been offered the position of finance minister.

The struggle stalwart lamented greatly on the status of the movement which has been plagued with infighting and leadership squabbles.

The ANC’s poor performance at the 2016 local government elections has been largely attributed to allegations of corruption levelled against members, including the man at the helm, and power struggles within the party.

‘MADIBA WAS MY BROTHER’

In 1994 Ahmed Kathrada was appointed Member of Parliament after South Africa’s first democratic elections and also served as parliamentary counsellor in the office of his late comrade and friend, President Nelson Mandela.

WATCH: Ahmed Kathrada: I miss my 'brother' Nelson Mandela and 'father' Walter Sisulu

In the late 90s Mandela handed Kathrada the Presidential Award of the Order for Meritorious Service Class 1 in recognition of his selfless service to the country.

Kathrada described his oration at the late president’s funeral in 2013 as one of the most difficult speeches he has ever had to deliver – second to the one he delivered at the funeral of the man he describes as his father, Walter Sisulu.


This article first appeared on EWN : Struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada dies at 87


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
[WATCH] Mnangagwa: I pledge myself to be your servant

[WATCH] Mnangagwa: I pledge myself to be your servant

Zimbabwe's president-in-waiting Emmerson Mnangagwa told thousands of supporters at the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare that today is the beginning of a new unfolding democracy.

Ahmed Kathrada's health condition deteriorates

Ahmed Kathrada's health condition deteriorates

Kathrada is said to have contracted pneumonia in both lungs after her was hospitalised earlier this month for surgery related to blood clotting on the brain.

Popular articles
Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

The new Home Affairs upgrades to the system include printing parents details at the back of the child's passport.

Tell me what you want: Study reveals most common sexual fantasies

Tell me what you want: Study reveals most common sexual fantasies

What are your sexual fantasies? Disclosure can bring sexual freedom, but it can also have downsides. A study lists the top trends.

More arrests are imminent in connection with the cash-in-transit heists - Hawks

More arrests are imminent in connection with the cash-in-transit heists - Hawks

Seven suspects were arrested in Limpopo in less than 24 hours after a cash-in-transit vehicle was blown up in the province.

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Bruce Whitfield interviews La Grange about her and Madiba's attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.)

The story of amaBhungane (and how it’s digging up dung on the Guptas & friends)

The story of amaBhungane (and how it’s digging up dung on the Guptas & friends)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism Investigative Journalist Craig McKune.

Meet Elmar Conradie, CEO of low-cost FlySafair (world’s most on-time airline)

Meet Elmar Conradie, CEO of low-cost FlySafair (world’s most on-time airline)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Conradie for his “ShapeShifter” feature.

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

The Panorama, Welgelegen and Plattekloof Neighbourhood Watch has identified a new house break-in trend.