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Johannesburg to honour Ahmed Kathrada

2012-04-26 21:14

Johannesburg - Johannesburg will grant Rivonia Trialist Ahmed Kathrada the Freedom of the City, its highest honour, the city said on Thursday.

Kathrada will be only the fifth person receive the Freedom of the City.

Other recipients of the honour include Walter Sisulu, Beyers Naude, Nelson Mandela, and Joe Slovo.

Cyril Ramaphosa, who is the chairperson of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation's board, asked the city council to bestow the honour.

Kathrada moved to Johannesburg from Schweizer-Reneke at the age of eight in 1937, according to a biography released by the city.

He became involved in liberation politics at the age of 12, and was arrested for the first time aged 17.

His political mentors, including Dr Yusuf Dadoo, JN Singh, Ismail "IC" Meer, and Moulvi Cachalia, were all Johannesburg residents.

Kathrada's flat in Market Street was a centre for discussion and debate, as well as a hub of social activity across race and gender lines.

He was arrested in Rivonia in 1963 and spent 26 years in prison.

After his release, Kathrada lived in Lenasia for a time, and now lives in Killarney.

His footprints could be found in almost every major struggle in the country, from 1946 to the time of his incarceration in 1963 and beyond, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said in recognising him in 2010.

Comments
  • Lacrimose - 2012-04-27 09:12

    ...and the only footprints the current custodians of the struggle legacy, are leaving are on the necks of the citizens. You dishonour everything struggle heroes stood and fought for with your never-ending greed, incompetence and utter indifference to the needs and wishes of the citizens.

  • comurray - 2012-04-27 10:23

    Yet another "chilli pip" involved in disruptive activities, planting bombs to kill and maim innocent women and children. These so called freedom fighters were nothing but thugs. They all should have disappeared off the face of the earth. Our ongoing problems are solely due to their lawlessness.

      Mike Purchase - 2012-04-27 10:56

      The rates and tax payers should be granted that award.

  • George - 2012-04-27 11:27

    The so called non-whites must appreciate that their freedom was obtained peacefully because the majority of whites wanted them to have it BELIEVING in turn that once free they would join in the building of a free, strong, productive and respected nation. Many whites would say that belief was misplaced. Or is it the case that a few exile-bred opportunists hijacked the country and have been trading on the currency of real freedom fighters martyred for their freedom loving sentiments? I suppose the jury is still out. The black people need to clean house and reach their own epiphany before this country can be said to be truly free.

      George - 2012-04-27 11:34

      And BTW we still have a racist government. You are still indignantly asked to state your race on every government form. Cry Mandela.

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-04-27 12:24

      Well said, George. My original understanding of BEE was : Black European Enrichment. There was a long walk to riches, but Freedom remains elusive. This is the fate of all South Africans as long as the Political Party system exists. If we want freedom and democracy, we HAVE to SCRAP the Party system. Only then can we start growing as a free nation.

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